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THE WORKS 



OF 



HEINRICH HEINE 



I. 



THE WORKS 



OF 



HEINRICH HEINE 



TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN 

BY 

CHARLES GODFREY LELAND 

(HANS BREITxMANN) 



VOLUME I. 



LONDON 

WILLIAM HEINEMANN 

1906 



IFLORENTINE NIGHTS 



THE MEMOIRS OF HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI 
THE RABBI OF BACH A BACH 



SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND W-mFN 



1 




NOTE TO THE READER 

The paper in this volume is brittle or the 
inner margins are extremely narrow. 

We have bound or rebound the volume 
utilizing the best means poseible. 

PLEASE HANDLE WITH CARE 



GENERAt. BOOKBINDII 



1 CO.. CMEai«Ri-»-*»'a, Q*\ 



i 



r • ■ • « 



; MST PRINTED, June 1891 
'*SE€OND IMPRESSION, February 189a 

^TiflRD IMPRESSION, October 1903 
""'^ FOURTH IMPRESSION, December 1905 



COPYRIGHT 1 89 1 





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INTRODUCTORY NOTE. 

It is much to say of a voluminous writer in prose 
as well as verse, that, though he may have left 
many a line which, for one reason or another, he 
might personally have wished to blot, he has left 
few that can be spared from the literature of the 
world. This may justly be said of Heine, but 
of how many others ? Let us apply the same 
severe test to greater names than even Heine's. 
Take the man whose mission on the whole most 
nearly resembled his — Voltaire. Voltaire was in 
some sense the mouthpiece of his generation ; he 
has through it produced the deepest eflfect on all 
generations to come ; he has left immortal things 
behind him ; but the project of a complete trans- 
lation of Voltaire would kindle the enthusiasm of 
no publisher and no public. Take the greatest 
of German writers, Goethe, in whom we most 
cheerfully acknowledge a greater than Heine, but 



vi INTRODUCTORY NOTE, 

who is totally unable to stand the test indicated 
in his poetical works even, to say nothing of his 
prose. There are other poets of Heine's calibre 
of whose writings we would not lose a word; 
but Byron, Burns, and Shelley did not subject 
themselves to the test which Heine successfully 
underwent of writing undying things in prose : — 
philosophy, and criticism, and even politics. 

If we must account for this singular distinction, 
we should say that Heine, more than any of the 
great men we have named, except Shelley, was a 
poet by the grace of God, and that he carried the 
happy instinct of his verse into his prose. As a 
poet he was essentially a Vblksdichter — the same 
sort of person, that is to say, as the unknown 
musicians whose Border Minstrelsies and Spanish 
Cancioneros are the envy and admiration of an 
artificial age. Every such writer, besides the 
moral endowment of feeling and the sensuous en- 
dowment of melody, is necessarily equipped with 
two intellectual gifts, perfect lucidity and perfect 
proportion. Imagine such a man to be at the 
same time a most original and accurate thinker, 
and to possess in the discussion of grave matters 
the ease and brightness and symmetry which 
have constituted his charm as a lyric poet, and it 




INTRODUCTORY NOTE. 

will bo seen that Lis prose may bo as well worth 
traDsIating as his verse. To illustrate the meaa- 
iDg by an exaiuple on tlio contrary aide, Words- 
worth's prose stj'le, though noble and digpilied, 
is not the style of the immortal part of hia poetry. 
If he had been able to discusa the principles of 
poetical composition and the Convention of Ciiitia 
in the style of " Lucy Gray," he would have beeii 
not merely a fine essajiot, but an unique figure in 
literatui'B. Ko oue, manifestly, couSd achieve tliia 
without a special,an almost miraculous gift. Ht-ine 
fictually possessed this gift; and hence hia prose 
disquisitions, descriptions, satires, ami the rest, 
nre as original in form as in substance. The same 
charm pervades all he wrote, and hence, what- 
ever judgment may be passed on the moral char- 
acteristica of hia work, from a literary point of 
view there is absolutely notiiing in it which a 
translator is not justified in rendering — it he can. 
If the foreign reader fails to enjoy, the fault is 
not in Heine, hut in his own want of preliminary 
acquaintance with Heine's theme. Meriting for a 
German public on themes of contemporary con- 
cern, Heine inevitably preauppusaa an amount of 
existing knowledge which the English reader will 
not always possess. It must be added, howevuT 



J—l. 



n 



vi-i INTRODUCTORY NOTE. 

— and this is one very good reason for translating 
liim — that Heine affords a very potent stimulua 
towards the acquisition of knowledge. The reader 
of Ilia " llumantic School," for instance, who may 
not have previously heard of Tieelc and Novalis, 
must be a dull sort of person if he does not hence- 
forth feel a curiosity respecting them. 

A still more important aspect of Heine is his 
relation to the creeds and circumstances of his 
century, and his influence in shaping European 
thouijht. The reader who would wish to deter- 
mine how far Heine will repay his attention in 
this respect is advised to consult the masterly 
criticism upon him in Matthew Arnold's essays. 
Mr. Arnold regards Heine as a great liberator, not 
a man of consummate achievement as a thinker, 
or one by any means to be implicitly followed or 
unreservedly extolled, but invaluable as a dis- 
solvent, breaking up and aljolialiiug opinions and 
habits which have become mere petrified formulas, 
and thus preparing the way fur new things which 
he did not create and did not always rightly con- 
ceive. He liked to be called the German Aris- 
tophanes, but he was even more of a Socrates, 
whose mission, apart from his poetical gift, it was 
to make men consider whether they really meant 



J 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE. ix 

what they said. It should be added that, perhaps 
in virtue of his supreme poetical endowment, 
his insight into the future was often startling; 
and that, if he has not solved the riddles of his 
time, no one has stated them so well. A com- 
plete translation of his works, then, seems as 
much the due of his intellectual significance as 

of his matchless literary genius. 

R. G. 



CONTENTS. 



■**- 



PAOS 

Florentine Nighi's i 

The Memoiks of Hkku von Schnabelewopski . 93 

The Rabui of nACHAiiAcn 175 

Shakespeare's Maidens AND Women . . . 241 

iNTRODUCniON 249 

Tragedies 281 

Comedies . . . • . ... 403 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 



-♦♦- 



FIRST NIGHT. 

In the ante- room Maximilian found the physician, 
who was drawing on his black gloves. ** I am 
in a great hurry," said the latter hastily ; " Signora 
Maria has not slept all day, and only just now 
has fallen into a little nap. I need not tell you 
that she must not be disturbed by any noise, 
and when she wakens she must not speak for 
her life ! She must lie still, not move in the 
least — the only movement permitted her is 
that of a mental nature. I beg you — tell her 
all or any kind of fanciful stories, so that she 
will only listen quietly." 

"Eest assured, doctor," replied Maximilian, 
with a mournful smile. " I have trained myself 
for a talker, and will not let her speak. And I 
will tell her fantastic stuff enough — as much as 
you wilL But how long will she live ? " 

" I am in a great hurry," replied the physician, 
and disappeared. 

Black Deborah with her acute ear had quickly 

A 



2 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

recognised the step of the new comer, and softly 
opened for him the door. At his nod she as 
quietly left the chamber, and Maximilian found 
himself alone by liis lady friend. The chamber 
was dimly lit by a single lamp, which cast half 
fearful, half inquisitive gleams on the face of 
the beautiful woman who, clad entirely in white 
muslin, lay sleeping calmly on a green-silk sofa. 

Silent, with folded arms, Maximilian stood a 
while before the sleeper and regarded the beauti- 
ful limbs, which the light garb rather revealed 
than hid, and every time when a strip of light 
fell on the pale face his heart throbbed: "In 
God's name!" he murmured, "what is that? 
Wliat memory is it tliat wakes in me? Ah, 
I know now — tliis white form on the green 
ground — yes — now " 

At that instant the invalid awoke, and as if 
gazing from tlie deptli of a dreapi, the soft dark 
violet eyes looked questioning — praying, on the 
friend. " Of what were you thinking just now, 
Maximilian?" she said, with that terrible, soft voice, 
such as is heard from those who suffer from 
lung complaint, and in which we seem to hear 
the prattle of a child, the chirping of a bird, and 
the death-rattle. " Of what were you thinking ? ** 
she repeated, and raised hpr head so hastily that 
the long locks curled about it like gold serpents 
frightened up. 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. $ 

"For God's sake," cried Maximilian, as he 
softly pressed her down again on the sofa, 
"remain quiet, say nothing; I will tell you 
all that I think or feel — yes, even what I 
don't know. 

'* In fact," he continued, " I do not know ex- 
actly what I just now thought and felt. Pictures 
from childhood swept like twilight dreams through 
my souL I thought of my mother's chateau ^ — 
of its garden run wild, of the beautiful marble 
statue which lay in the green grass. I called it 
my mother's chateau, but I beg you, of my life, 
do not understand by that anything magnificent 
or grand. I have always been accustomed to hear 
it so called. My father laid a curious emphasis 
on ' the castle,' and smiled oddly as he said it. 
It was not till a later time that I learned the 
meaning of this smile — when I, a "boy of twelve, 
went with my mother to the chateau. It was my 
first journey. We drove all day through a thick 
forest, whose dark thrills I shall never forget, and 
it was not till twilight that we first paused at a 
long cross-bar which separated us from a great 
meadow. We were obliged to wait almost halt- 
an-hour before a ' boy ' came from a mud hut hard 
by, who pushed away the impediment and let us 
in. I say *boy,' because old Martha always 

^ SehloM — castle, chateau, a country villa of a superior kind. 
Generally a castle, but not invariably. 



t FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

palled her forty-year-old nephew by this terra 
This youth, in order to receive 'the gracioiia 
quality,' ' had donned the old li\-ery of his late 
uncle, and we had been obliged to wait until he 
had brushed it clean. Could he have had more 
time he would have also put on his stockings ; but, 
■ as it was, his long bare legs were in good keeping 
with his scarlet coat. Whether he wore breeches 
under it I do not know. Our servant John, who, 
like me, had often heard of ' the chateau,' made n 
very strange face when the ' hoy ' led us to the 
little brokeu building where the late Herr had 
dwelt But he was startled indeed when my 
mother bade him bring in the beds. How could 
he suppose there were no beds at ' the chateau ' ? 
And the order of my mother to provide sleeping 
comforts he had either never heard or neglected 
it as superfluous trouble. 

" The little dwelling, just one storey high, 
which had not boasted in its best days more than 
five inhabitable rooms, was now a pitiful picture 
of the passed away. Wrecked furniture, ragged 
hangings and carpets, not one window-pane un- 
broken, the floor torn up here and there, and 
everywhere ugly traces of the most outrageous 
acts of the soldiery. 



' Die gnddiye Ucrrscho/t, "Quality" 
Americii, aa it waa in the time of Cj 



it ill used by negroei 
en Atme, to eigaiCj 



FLORENTINE NIGHT3, $ 

"'Those who were quartered on us amused 
themselves very much at our expense/ said the 
' boy/ with a stupid smile. My mother made a 
sign to him that we would gladly be alone, and 
while he busied himself with John, I went to see 
the garden, which also wore the most inconsol- 
able air of ruin. The great trees were partly 
hacked away, partly felled, and spiteful, sneering 
parasites rose over the fallen trunks. Here and 
there one could recognise the way amid the box- 
bushes growing wildly out of trim. Here and 
there too stood statues, the most of which had lost 
their heads or at least their noses. I remember 
a Diana whose nether limbs were overgrown 
with dark ivy in a comical fashion, and also of 
a goddess of plenty from whose cornucopia 
flowed rank, poisonous weeds. One statue only 
had been spared — God knows how — from the 
mischief of man and Time. It had indeed been 
hurled from its pedestal into the high giass, but 
it lay there uninjured — a marble goddess, with 
the most exquisitely pure features, and with a 
finely chiselled noble breast which gleamed up 
from the high grass lilce a Greek Apocalypse. I 
was almost terrified at the sight; this statue 
inspired in me a strange, close, feverish terror, 
and a secret bashfulness kept me from gazing 
long at its lovely mien. 

"When I returned to my mother she stood by 



6 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

the window, lost in thought, her head resting on 
her right hand, while tears ran without ceasing 
down her cheeka I had never seen her weep 
like this. She embraced me hastily and ten- 
derly, and made excuse that owing to John s 
neglect I could not have a proper bed. 'Old 
Martha,' she said, * is very ill, and cannot give 
up her bed for you, my dear child. But John 
can arrange the cushions from the coach so that 
you can sleep on them, and you may take his 
cloak for covering. I will sleep here on straw ; 
this was the bedroom of my late^ father — it 
looked far better once than it now does. Leave 
me alona' And the tears ran more irrepressibly 
from her eyes. 

" Whether it was the not being used to such 
a bed, or to my excited feelings, I could not 
sleep. The moon shone so directly at me 
through the broken panes, that it seemed as if it 
would lure me out into the clear summer night. 
Whether I turned to the right side or the left, 
whether I opened or impatiently sliut my eyes, 
I could think of nothing but the beautiful 
marble statue which I had seen in the grass. 
I could not understand the bashfulness which 
seized me when I first saw it; I felt vexed 

' Sdig, blessed, is used for late or deceased. Uence, as Long- 
fellow observed, a German widow always speaks of her departed 
husband as "her blessed man.'* 



FLORENTINE NJGHTS. 



^ 



Bl IhiB childish feeling', and saiit to myself. 
' To-morrow I will kis3 thee, ihou beautiful 
marble face ; kiss thee ou the lovely comer of 
the mouth where the lips melt into such a cliurm- 
Ing dimple ! ' And then an impatience such as I 
had never before felt rippled through all my limbs, 
I could not resist the strange impulse, uud at lust 
I jumped up bokUy and said: 'What does it 
matter if I kiss thee even now, beautiful form I ' 
" I stole softly from the house, lest my mother 
should hear, which was all the easier because 
the entiance, though it bore a great coat-of- 
arms, had no door, aud hastily wound my way 
through the shrubbery of the wasted garden. 
There was not a sound — all rested silently dud 
solemnly in the calm moonshine. The shadows 
of the trees seemed to be nailed lo the ground. 
There in the green grass lay the beautiful god- 
dess, as immovable as all around ; but her lovely 
liml» seemed to be fettered, not by petrifying 
' death, but by quiet slumber, and as I drew near 
I almost feared lest she might be watened by 
the lightest sound. I held my breath as I bent 
over to behold her beautiful face ; a shuddering, 
troubled fear seemed to repel me from, and a 
youthful luatyhood to attract me tu her; my 
heart beat as if I were about to commit a murder, 
and at last I kissed the bcautifid goddess with a 
passion, a tenderness, and a desperation such as I 



8 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

never felt in my life from any kiss. Nor can 1 
ever forget the grimly sweet emotion which ran 
through all my soul as the comforting, blessing 
coldness of those marble lips touched mine. . . . 
And so, Maria, as I just now stood before you, 
and I saw you lying in your white muslin dress 
on the green sofa, your appearance reminded me 
of the white marble image in the green grass. 
Had you slept longer my lips could not have 
resisted " 

" Max ! Max 1 " cried the woman from the 
depths of her souL "Terrible I You know 
that a kiss from your mouth " 

" Ah — only be silent ; I know that would be 
something terrible to you ! Do not look at me 
80 imploringly 1 I do not doubt your feelings, 
although their deepest ground lies hidden from 
me. I have never dared to press my lips to 
yours " 

But Maria did not allow him to conclude. 
She had grasped his hand, covered it with earnest 
kisses, and said, smiling : " Pardon ! pardon I But 
go on and tell me more of your amour. How 
long did you love the marble beauty whom you 
kissed in the garden of your mother's chateau ? " 

" We left the next day," replied Maximilian, 
"and I never saw its beautiful form again. 
But a strange passion for marble statues ever 
afterwards inspired me, and I felt even to-day 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 



I its irresistible power. I came from the Lorenzo, 
the library of the Medici, and found myself, I 
know not bow, in the chapel where that most 
magnificent of tlie races of Italy baa built itself 
a sleeping-place of gems, and rests in peaca A 
full hour I remained absorbed in gazing at 
the marble image of a woman whose powerful 
Erume attests the bold skill of Michael Angelo, 

I while the whole form is inspired with an ethereal 
sweetness such as we are not accustomed to 
expect iu that master. All the realm of dreams, 
with all its silent blisses, is enchanted into tliis 
marble ; a tender repose dwells in the beautiful 
limbs, a soothing moonlight courses through its 
veins : it is the Mght of Michael Angelo Buona- 
rottL Oh ! how gladly would I sleep in the 
urms of this Night ! ^ 
' A strange book might be ivritten on this subject o! nen 
who have literally loved atntueB, nnd Bonifocias hu in bii 
IJittoria LudUra, or titrange Stories, collected a number ol 
Instniicca Croiu antli]uity of men Uma inbpired. Tliera ia a 
■torj current In Florence of on Englishmsn who waa enamoured 
of the YimuB d[ Medicis. Must rem&rkHble of oJl the litpntnre 
on tbi* subject, which Heine seems to have studied thoroughly, 
is A chapter ou OH Ajoori Saerileiji, in a book entitled DcUe Bit- 
larerie Academiclie di Oio, Francesco Lorudano, Venice, 16)17. 
This monograph, which certainly Inspired Heine in these pas- 
■agM, is supposed to be a speech by Amides of Athens, defend- 
ing, or ratber vindicating, himself from the accasatioii of having 
uwde love to a statne of Venue. It is a maaterpicce of iesthetio 
oynioisin. There are indications in other works by Heine that 
; tie had read this book, A rtduclia ad abiuTdum of this f realc at 




FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 



"The painted forms of women," continued 
Maximilian, after a pause, " Lave never inter- 
eated nae so deeply as statues. I was only once 
ill love with a picture. It was a wonderfully 
beautiful Madonna in a church in Cologne. I 
was at that time a zealous church-goer, and all 
my Houl was sunk in the mysticism of Catholicism. 
I would then, like the Spanish cavalier, have 
gladly fought every day for the Immaculate 
Conception of Mary, the Queen of the Angela, 
the fairest lady of heaven and of earth. I inter- 
ested myself in the whole Holy Family, and took 
oil' my hat with special friendliness before any 
image of Saint Joseph. But this state did not 
last lung, and I left the Virgin almost without 
ceremony aa soon as I heeame acquainted in a 
gallery of antiquities with a Greek nymph who 
kept me long a captive in her marble fetters." 

" And you always loved only chiselled or 
painted women ? " tittered Maria. 

" No 1 I have loved dead women too," repUed 
Maximilian, aa a, very grave expression came over 
his features. He did not observe that as he said 
this Maria seemed to shrink aa if terrified, and 
he continued in a calm voice — 

iove U furniBhtd in Mr. F. Anetej'* nitty iiuvelette, TU Tinted 
Venv*, where, iDHtead of u man bsiiLg enamoured of IL statue, a 
■tntue, vivigiii!, bccuinea eDBinuured of o man. Thu atury tit 
T^ygtaiiiaa anil Galatut ii thus reversed with the happiest eStCb 
—Tranttatar. 



lUed ' 



J 



I 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

" Yes, it ia very strange liow I oiice fell iii 
love with ft girl after she had been dead For 
Beveii years. Wlien I first beeame acquainted 
■with little "Very, I was extremely pleased with 
her. For three days I was deeply interested in 
her, and took the greatest pleasure in all that 
she did and said, and in every expression of her 
piquant, exquisite self, without being in the 
least sentimentally inclined. Nor was I indeed 
moved to any extravagant grief when I learned, 
some months later, that she had suddenly died 
in consequence of a nervous fever, I forgot her 
entirely, and I am sure that for years I never 
thought ouce about her. 

" Seven years had passed away, and I found 
myself in Potsdam, detcmiined to enjoy tlie whole 
beautiful summer in undisturbed solitude. I did 
not associate with any one ; my only company 
wua the statues whioli are iu the garden of Sans 

SOUCL 

" It happened one day that certain features, 
and a strangely winsome voice and gesture, sud- 
denly recurred to me, without my being able to 
identify the person wliom they characterised. 
Nothing is more annoying than sncli stumbling 
about among old memories, and I was therefore 
Burprised as with joy when I, after a few days, 
all at once recalled little Veiy, and found that it 
voa ker charming and forgotten form whitli had 



_i 



12 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

SO strangely moved me. Indeed I rejoiced over 
this discovery like one who has quite unex- 
pectedly found again his most intimate friend. 
The faded lines gradually took colour, and at 
last the sweet little one seemed to be again 
before me — smiling, pouting, witty, and more 
beautiful than ever. From this time the darling 
image would not leave me, it filled all my soul ; 
wherever I went or staid, staid or went, it 
was by my side — spoke with me, laughed with 
me, always .pleasantly and gently, yet without 
any special tenderness. But I was every day 
more and more enchanted by this form, which 
ever became more and more real to me. It is 
easy to call spirits, but hard to send them again 
to their dark Nothing — they look at us then so 
pitifully and imploringly that our hearts cannot 
resist such earnest prayers. And as I could not 
tear myself away, the end was that I fell in 
love with little Very, after she had been dead 
for seven years. 

" So I lived for six months in Potsdam, com- 
pletely absorbed in this love. I avoided more 
carefully than ever any touch with the outer 
world, 80 that even if any one in the street came 
too near me I felt a most uncomfortable sen- 
sation. I had, as regards any rencontre with 
people, such a repulsion as night- wandering spirits 
feel, for it is said that wlien they meet a living 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 13 

human being they are as much terrified as the 
one who sees them. By chance there came 
through Potsdam a traveller whom I could not 
avoid — my brother. At seeing him, and hearing 
from him the last news of the day, I awoke as 
from a deep dream, and, as if shrinking with 
alarm, I suddenly felt in what a horrible soli- 
tude I had so long been living. I had during 
this time not even remarked the course of the 
seasons, and I regarded with amazement the trees, 
which, having long lost their leaves, were now- 
covered with autumnal hoar-frost. I soon left 
Potsdam and little Very, and in another city, 
where important business awaited me, I was, by 
means of sharp pressure and urgent circumstance, 
soon driven into harsh reality. 

"Ah, heaven!" continued Maximilian, while 
a painful smile moved his upper lip, " how the 
living women with whom I then came into un- 
avoidable contact tormented me — delicately tor- 
mented me — with their pouting, jealousing, and 
gasping! In how many balls was I obliged to 
trot around with them, in how much gossiping 
scandal must I be mingled ? What restless 
variety, what joy in lying, what kissing-treachery 
and poisoned flowers 1 Those ladies knew ho\r 
to utterly spoil for me all joy and happiness and 
love, so that for a time I became a woman-hater, 
who damned the whole sex. It was with me 



14 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

something as it was with the French officer who, 
during the Russian campaign, was rescued with 
trouble from the icy trenches of the Beresina, 
but who from that time had such an antipathy 
for everything frozen that he repelled with horror 
even the sweetest and most delicious ices at Tor- 
toni's. Yes, the memory of the Beresina of love 
which I then passed made for a time detestable 
the daintiest dames — women like angels, girls 
like vanilla-sherbet " 

" I beg you,** cried Maria, " do not abuse 
women ! That is the thrashed-out way of speak- 
ing among men-mere chafif and cant. After all, 
to be happy you must have women." 

" Oh I " sighed Maximilian, " that is true, of 
course. But women have but one way to make 
men happy, and thirty thousand to torment 
them." 

"Dear friend," replied Maria, while she sup- 
pressed a smile, " I speak of the harmony of two 
souls in tune. Have you never felt this happi- 
ness ? But I see a strange blush on your cheeks 
— speak. Max ! " 

" It is true, Maria ; I feel like a boy at con- 
fessing to you the fortunate love which once 
made me infinitely happy. Its memory is not 
lost to me, and my soul often retreats to its cool 
shade when the burning dust and noonday heat 
of life become intolerable. Bijt I am not ip 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

condition to give you a clear idea of tliis loved 
one. She was of sucli ethereal nature that she 
could only appear to ma in dreams. I think, 
Maria, that you have no commonplivce prejudice 
against dreams, for these nightly phenomena have 
as much reality as those rougher images of the 
day whicli we can handle, and with which we 
are often defiled. Yes, it was in dreams that I 
saw that dear and lovely heing, who, above all 
others. Iiclped to make life happy. I can tell 
you little as to her appearance. I really cannot 
accurately describe her features. Her face was 
unlike anything which I ever saw before or since. 
So far as I can remember it was not white and 
rosy, but all of oue tone — a softly crimsoned pale 
brunette, and transparent as crystal. The charm 
of this face conBiated neither in absolutely perfect 
symmetry nor in interesting liveliness; its char- 
acter lay far more in an enchanting yet terrible 
tru til fulness. It was a face full of conscious 
love and gracefql goodness ; it was more a soul 
than a face, and therefore I have never been 
quite able to present it.' The eyes were soft as 
flowers; the lips somewhat pale, but winsomely 
curved. Slie wore a sillv dressing-gown of corn- 
flower blue — -tliis was all her dress. The neck 
and feet were bare, aiid the delicate tenderness 

f/egmteartigtn — " To bring it before (nie)." Grsenwari 



^ 



J 



1 6 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

of the limbs often peeped as if stealthily through 
the slight, soft garment. Nor can I clearly set 
forth the words which we spoke; I can only 
remember that we bound ourselves to one an- 
other, and that we caressed and comforted one 
another, joyfully and happily, frankly and con- 
fidingly, like bridegroom and bride, or almost 
like brother and sister. And we often did not 
talk at all, but gazed into each other's eyes, and 
in this blissful beholding we remained for eter- 
nities How I atwke I know not, but I long 
revelled in the after-feelings of this happy love. 
I was long intoxicated with unheard-of delight ; 
the yearning depth of my heart was full of hap- 
piness ; a joy before unknown seemed to spread 
over all my feelings, and I remained glad and 
gay, though I never again saw the loved one of 
my dreams. But had I not enjoyed whole eter- 
nities in her glance ? And she indeed knew me too 
well not to know also that I love no repetitiona" 

" Truly," cried Maria, " you are un homme d 
bonne fortune. But tell me, was Mademoiselle 
Laurence a marble statue or a picture, a dear 
girl, or a dream ? " 

" Perhaps all together," replied Maximilian, 
very seriously, 

" I can well believe, dear friend, that this love 
was of a rather doubtful substanca And when 
will you tell me this story ? *' 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 17 

" To-morrow. It is long, aiid I nm tired to- 
day. I have been ia the opera, and have too 
much music in my ears." 

" You go a great deal to the opera, Max, and 
I helieve that it is more to see than to hear." 

" You are CLuite right, Jlaria ; I really go to 
the opera to see the faces of the beautiful Italian 
women. True, they are pretty enough even out- 
side the theatre, and an investigator into history 
could, from the ideality of their fcaturca, easily 
"ijTace the influence of the formative ^ arts on the 
jrms of the Italian people. Here Nature has 
taken back from the artists the capital which 
;e lent ; and lo t it has, in the most enrap- 
turing manner, paid compound interest. The 
llense of the Beautiful has penetrated all the 
people ; and as the flesh once acted on the spirit, 
so the spirit now works upon the flesh. Aud 
the devotions before those l)eautifnl Madonnas, 
those lovely altar-pieces, which as Madonnas sink 
into the soul of the bridegroom while the bride is 
sensuously impressed by a handsome saint, are not; 
in vain. From such elective affinities a race of 
human beings has sprung which is even more 
beautiful than the charming soil on which it 
L Bprings, or the sunny heaven which (lashes round 

^ Der Einfiuii der biUUnden KHmle. The fine or cultnretl 
I Kts which shupe muterinil and thereby mind. Plastic arte ia 
■■the uiual but Ubs truthful equivalent. 




l8 J'LORIiSTJXE SIGHTS. 

it like a f:r)1<k>n franic.^ The men do not interest 
mc much unless llioy are jxiintcd or sculptured, 
and I loiive to you, Maria, all possible enthusiasm 
fur tliosc handsome, supple Italians who have 
surh wild Mack beards and noble aquiline noses, 
nnd such soft, ei-afty eyes. They say the Lom- 
bards are the finest men. I have never investi- 
gated tlicni very ch)scly ; I have only earnestly 
studied the Lombard women, and these I declare 
are really as beautiful as they are famed to be. 
But they must even in the Middle Ages have 
been fairly fair. It is said that the beauty of 
the ladies of Alilan was the reason of the secret 
impulse which sent Francis the First on his Italian 
campaign. The knightly king was doubtless 
desirous of knowing whether his spiritual little 
cousins, tlie kinsfolk of his godmothers, were 
as beautiful as he had heard boasted. Poor 
rogue ! he paid dearly at Pavia for his curiosity. 
" But the full beauty of these Italian women 
is first seen when their faces are lighted up by 
nmsic. I say lighted up, because the efifect of 
music, as I have seen it in the opera, on the faces 

' This is very beautiful, but of doubtful truth. While there 
is much beauty and refinement among the more prosperous dassei 
in Italy, it is unquestionably true that a majority of the Italian 
emigrants who come to the United States are altogether the 
worst and most degraded-looking foreigners in the country, being 
rivalled in this respect only by those from the Slavonian slums of 
Hungary and Austria. I have seen thousands of these emigrants, 
who come almost entirely from Southern Italy. — Tra/ndatWm 



FLORBNTtKB NIQHTS. 



»9 



if bcauLiriil women, is quite like those effects of 
ight and shadow which astonish us wlien we see 
itatues in the niglit hy torchlight Such marble 
mages then reveal in the terrifying truth their 
indwelling spirit and awfu! silent secrets. In like 
manner the whole life of the beautiful Italians 
ihows itself to us when we see them in the opera ; 
Ae varying melodies then waken in their soula 
Bn array of feelings, memories, wishes, and woes, 
(chich at once speak out in the movements oE their 
teatures, in their hlushing, their paleness, and 
sven in their eyes. He who can read may then 
read in their beautiful faces many sweet and in- 

jresting things, stories as atiange as the novels 
of Boccaccio, feelings as tender aa the sonnets of 
Petrarch, wliims as odd as the OUaverhne ot 
Ariosto— often enough, too, frightful treacheryand 
sublime evil as poetic as the Hell of Danta Yes, 
at is worth wliile to look up at the boxes. If the 
men would only not meanwhile express their in- 
spiration with such frightful noise. This insane 
applause in an Italian theatre becomes annoying. 
^ut music is the soul of these people, their life, 
Sieir national cause. In otlier countries there 
I certainly musicians who equal the greatest 
|[talian celebrities, but there is no musical multi- 

iude like this. Music is represented here in 
Btaly, not by individuals, but reveals itself in the 
Srhole population ; it has become the people itself. 



i 



ao FLOSENTISB NIQHTS. 

Among U3 in the North it is quite otherwise; 
there music has become iDdi\'idual, and is called 
Mozart or Meyerbeer. And, more than that, 
when we closely examine tlie best which such 
Northern musicians offer us, we find in it Italian 
sunshine and orange perfume which belong much 
more to beautiful Italy, the home of music, than 
to our Germany. Yes, Italy will ever be the. 
home of music, even if its great Maestri sink 
into the grave or grow silent, even though Bellini 
die and Rossini is mute." 

" True," said Maria, " Rossini has long been 
still ; if I am not mistaken, for ten years." 

" That is perhaps a jest of his," replied Maxi' 
milian. " He wishes to show that the name of 
the ' Swan of I'esaro,' which baa been given liim, 
is utterly inappropriate. Swans sing at the end 
of their lives, but Rossini has become silent in 
the middle of his. And I think that tliere he 
did well, and proved himself to be a genius. An 
artist who has only talent feels to the end of his 
life the impulse to work it out ; he is goaded by 
ambition ; he feels that lie is always short of per- 
fection, and he is impelled to attain to the highest 
But genius has already giveu us his highest pos- 
sible work ; he is content ; he scorns the world 
and petty ambition, and goes home as Shakespeare 
did, or promenades, smiling and jesting, on the 
Boulevard des Italiens in Paris, like Joachim 



FLORENTINE mOHTS. ai 

Ro3sinL If the genius enjoys ftur physical 
liualth he may live in this fashion a long time 
after lie has completed his masterpieces, or, as 
people say, lias fulfilled his mission. It is a mere 
prejudice or fancy for men to imagine that genius 
must die young. I think that from thirty to 
forty years is helieved to be the fatal limit of such 
Uvea How often I have teaaed poor Bellini with 
this, and prophesied that he in Ids quality as 
genius must die as soon as he should attain the 
dangerous age. Strange, in spite of my jesting 
tone, he tormented himself over this prophecy ; hn 
called me hia jettatore^ and always made the sign 
of the jdtatuTo. He wished so much to live ; 
he had such a passionate antipathy to death that 
he would not hear it mentioned. He was afraid 
of it aa a child who fears to sleep in the dark. 
He was a good, dear child himself, sometimes 
rather naughty ; but one only need threaten him 
with his early death, and lie became at once whim- 
pering and praying, and made the jcUatura with 
his two uplifted fingers. . . , Poor Bellini ! " 

" Then you knew him personally ! Was ho 
handsome ? " 

' JeUalore, One who has the evil eye, and cuts (jtWo) its in- 
' fliienca dd othen. Tlia tign to avert it ia made in Southern 
Italy by grsiping tbe tniddle aiid ring finger witb the thumb 
■nJ thrawin^ out the fore and littla finger to reeembte horns. 
InToscany it is more eummonly lajitia, or easta^na, that h, clos 
iog the Gat, BO Chat tlis tliumb prutrudea hetweea the third 
Mitl middle flpger. 




ta FLORENTINE NIQHTS. 

"He was not plain. You see ihat we men 
also cannot answer affirmatively when sueh a 
question ia put to us regarding one of our own 
sex. He was of tall, slender form, us one wlio 
had suddenly sliot up, wtio moved and gestured 
daintily, I might say coquettishly, always d qualra 
ipingles j ' regular features, rather long and pale ; 
light blonde, almost golden hair, frisdd in 
little locks; a very high aud noble forehead, a 
straight nose, very hght blue eyes, a beautifully 
proportioned mouth, and round chin. His traita 
had in them something vague, devoid of cliaracter 
or miUt-like, and in this milk-face there often 
curled sweet-sourly an expression of pain. This 
imguished look supplied in Bellini's face the want 
of wit and spirit,' but it was a pain without depth; 
it shone dimly and without poetry in his eyes, 
aud quivered without passion on hia lips. This 
flat, insipid suffering seemed to be affected by the 
young maestro after a bygone fashion. Hia hair 
was curled in such a dreamy -visionary, melan- 
choly manner, his clothes fitted his dainty form 
so yearningly and sentimentally, he carried his 
little bamboo cane so idyllically, that he always 
reminded me of those young, old-fashioned lovers 
whom we see in rococo-sliepherd plays acting 
affectedly with ribboned crooks and light- 
tla. Said uf dub whu lias token extrems 



' Tiri d guair 
LtQa to be yivW 
* Qeiil, trpril, 



M 




FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 



'1 



toloured jiicketa aud beautiful little breeches! 
And his guit was so muidcDly, so okgant, su 
ethereal ! The whole ntttu looked like a, sighing 
swain en. escarpiits. 'J'he ladies dotited on him, 
but I doubt whether he ever inspired a great 
passion. To me hia personal appearance always 
had in it something dioUy unpleasant, the real 
reason for which was perhaps Ma manner o[ 
speaking French. For though lie liad lived 
several years in France, he spoke its language so 
badly that its like was not to be heard even iu 
England. I wUl not say that he spoke it badli/, 
for the word bad would here be entirely too good. 
One must say outrageouialy, mcestuously, world- 
destroyingly — as a cataclysm. Yes, when one 
was in society with him, and he like a public 
e-tecutioner broke the poor French words on 
the wheel, and without sign or trembling dealt 
out a tremendous coq (i I'dne, one felt as if the 
very world must split as with a thunder-craclc 
A deathly stillness then spread over tlie entire 
hall, for death himself seemed to be painting 
terror on every face with chalk and cinnabar; 
ladies knew not whether they should faint or 
fly; men looked iu sudden amazement at their 
breeches to realise that they really wore suoli 
tilings ; and, wliat was worst of all, tlda horror 
awoke at the same time a convulsive, maddening 
desire to laugh which coidd hardly Le r 






r^ 



- s-xietv, hia 
:.' .:*15 appre- 
« i i:rrHle 
~^. i. Verv 



.r>.r.:cc 



I 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 2$ 

later time, when I began to know Bellini, that I 
felt a liking for him. This came from observing 
that his character was perfectly noble and good. 
His soul is certainly pure, and has remained un- 
spotted by contact with vile things. Nor was 
there wanting in him that harmless good-nature, 
or the childlike, such as is never wanting in genial 
raen, even if they do not show it to every one. 

** Yes, I remember," continued Maximilian, as 
he sank on the seat by which he had so far 
stood upright, leaning on the arm. "I re- 
member a single instant during which Bellini 
appeared to me in such a charming light that I 
regarded him with pleasure, and determined to 
learn to know him more intimately. But it 
was unfortunately the last time I was destined 
to see him in this life. This was one evening 
after suj>per in the house of a great lady, who 
had the smallest foot in Paris, and when he 
had become merry, and the sweetest melodies 
rang from the pianoforte. I can see him now, 
l^j^e good Bellini, when, exhausted by the many 
mad 33ellinisms which he had chattered, he sat 
on ^ seat — it was very low, almost like a foot- 
stool, so that he found himself at the feet of a 
fo^ijr la*dy who had reclined opposite him on a 
Q^yfeL, Bjxd with sweet mischievousness looked 
do^^^^^ ^^ ^^°^' while he toiled away to entertain 
her veith a few French phrases, getting ever 



S4 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 



Therefore if any one sat by Bellini in society, hia 
neighbourhood inspired a certain anxious appre- 
hension wliich was sure to excite a liorrible 
interest at once attractive and repulsive. Very 
often his unconscious puns were simply amusing, 
aud in theii- monk ey-li lie uumeaningness re- 
minded one of the castle of his fellow-country- 
man, the Prince of Pallagonia, which is described 
by Goethe in his Italian journey as a museum 
of baroque eccentricities and rubbishy mon- 
strosities, huddled together without rhyme or 
reason. As Bellini always believed on such 
occasions that he had said something quite 
harmless and serious, his face formed the drollest 
contrast wiLh his words. Then it was that that 
wliich was unpleasing in his expression came out 
most cuttingly. Yet what I did not like in it 
was not, however, of such a kind that it could be 
described aa a defect, and it certainly was not 
unpleasing to ladies, Bellini's face, like liia 
whole physique, had that physical freshness, that 
blooming sensuouaness, that rose-colour which 
makes on me a disagreeable impression — on nie, I 
say, because I lilie much better that which is 
death-like and of marble.^ It was not till a 

' Heine here Epeaka very sincerely. TliJs wiia the tnne, and 
indeed the cant, d£ the Romanticiits in the Thirties. "Oh, I 
like to looli gloomy and melancholy t " said in tlioae dnys la my 
hearing a young mun wlio had been told that hii dreasing !d 
bluet gave bim a. sombrB appcaraace. 



d 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS, fj 

later time, when I began to kuow Belliiii, that I 
felt a liking for him. This came from observing 
thftt his character was perfectly noble and good 
His soul is certainly pure, and has remained un- 
spotted by contact with vile thinga Nor wua 
there wanting in him that harmless good-nature, 
or the cliildlike, such as is never wanting in t/mial 
men, even if they do not show it to every one. 

" Yea, I remember," continued JIaxiniilian, oa 
be sank on the scat by which lie had so far 
stood upright, leaning on the arm. " I re- 
member a single instant during which Cellini 
appeared to me in such a chamiing light that I 
regarded him with plenswre, and determined to 
learn to know him more intimately. Cut it 
was unfortunately the last time I was deatincd 
to see him in this life. Tliis was one eveiung 
after supper in tlie house of a great lady, who 
had the smallest foot in Paris, and wlien he 
had become merry, and the sweetest melodies 
rang from the pianoforte. I can see him now, 
the good Bellini, when, exhausted by the many 
mad Bellinisms which he had chattered, be sat 
on a seat — it was very low, almost like a foot- 
stool, so that he found himself at the feet of a 
fair lady who had reclined opposite him on a 
and witli sweet miacliievousncss looked 
down on him, wliile lie toiled away to entertain 
her with a few French phrases, getting ever 




FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

deeper into difficulties, coiaraenting in liia 
Sicilian jitrgon in order to prove that what Iw 
said was not foolish, but, on the contrary, the 
most refined flattery. I do not think that the 
beautiful lady paid much attention to Bellini's 
jthrases. She had taken his little cane, where- 
with he often helped himself out of weak places 
in rhetoric, nnd calmly used it to disarrange 
the elaborate arrangement of the liair on both 
temples of the young maestro. Tiiis caprice 
well became the smile which gave lier featuiea 
an expression sufli as I have never seen on a 
living human face. It was one of those whicli 
belong far more to the dream-realm of poetry 
than to the rough reality of life — contours re- 
calling Da Vinci, that noble soul ! — with the 
naive dimples in the cliin, and the sentimental 
pointed-out bending chin of the Lombard school. 
The colour was rather of a I'onian softness, a 
mother-of-pearl gleam, aristocratic paleness — 
morbidezza. In short, it was such a face as can 
only be found in old Itahan portraits, in which 
the masters of the sbtteenth century depicted as a 
master-work the portraits of great ladies whom 
they loved — such as poets sang when they sang 
for immortality, and such as German and French 
heroes yearned for when they girded on their 
swords, and seeking great deeds rushed over the 
Alps. Yes, yes, it was such a face, in which there 



J 



FLORENTINE NIOHTS. rj 

playeJ a smile of sweetest miscbiof niid of aris- 
tocratic waywardness, wliile she, t!iG fair lady, 
disarranged tlie blonde locks of good Ilt:Uini 
with the bamboo cane. At that instant Cullini 
seemed to be transfigured to some utterly strange 
apparition, and all at ouce lie became allied to 
my heart, Hia face shone in tlio redectcd 
light of tliat smile; it was perhaps the goldenost 
moment of his life. I ehall never forgot hiiu. 
Fourteen days after I read in the newspapers that 
Italy had lost onii of lier most famous sons. 

"Strangiily enough the death of I'aganuii was 
amiounced at ttie same tima I did not doubt 
this in the least, because the old faded Paganini 
always looked like a dying man, but the death of 
tlie young and rosy Beliuu seemed incredible. 
And yet the announcement of the death of the 
first was simply an error of the press. Taganiui 
is alive and well at Genoa, and Bellini lies in hia 
grave in Paris." 

" Do you like Paganini ? " asked Maria. 

" This man," exclaimed Maximilian, " is a glory 
to Ilia couatryj and certahily deserves the most 
distinguished mention if one will epeak of llie 
musical notabilities of Italy." 

" I have never seen liim," said Maria, " but 
according to report hia exterior does not perfectly 

set forth the beautiful I have seen portraits 

of him " 



28 FLORENTINE NIGHTS, 

" None of which were like him," said Maximilian. 
" They all make him too ugly, or else flatter him, 
and do not give his true character. I think that 
only one man ever succeeded in putting the true 
physiognomy of Paganini on paper. He who did 
it is a deaf painter named Leyser, who, in liis in- 
spired frolicking, hit off with a few pencil strokes 
the head of Paganini so well that one laughs and 
is friglitened at the truth of the portrait ' The 
devil guided my hand,' said the artist to me, 
mysteriously laughing low, and nodding his head 
with good-natured irony as he was wont to do in 
his Owlglass reflections. This painter was always 
a queer owl. In spite of his deafness he loved 
music enthusiastically, and he really understood 
it when he was near enough to the orchestra to 
read the music in the faces of the musicians, and 
judge of the more or less successful execution 
by tlie fingering ; and, in fact, he wrote criticisms 
of the operas for a distinguished journal in Ham- 
burg. What is there wonderful in that ? The 
deaf painter could, in the visible signature of the 
playing, see the tones. Are there not men to whom 
tones themselves are only invisible signatures in 
which they hear colours and forms ? " ^ 

^ Ileioe was the first to make known in French this style of 
using {esthetic correspondences or signatures — to borrow a term 
from Swedenborg. It was carried to a ridiculous excess by his 
imitators, one of whom, in speaking of a ballet-girl, said : '* Tho 
colour of her dancing is pyramidal." But Heine himself in 
occasionally extravagant in its use. 



FLOSBNTINB NIGHTS. 



" Siicii a man are yon. J " cried Maria. 



"la 



1 sorry that I no longer 



the little 



drawing by Leyser ; it woukl pcrliaps give you an 
idea of PaganM's appearance. It was only in 
harsh, black, flcetmg stroI;cs that one could set 
forth those unearthly traits which seemed to be- 
long rather to tlie sulphurous realm of shadows 
than to the sunny world of life. ' Trtdy the 
devil guided my hand,' asserted the deaf painter, 
as we stood by Alster pavilion in Hamburg on 
the day when Paganini gave liis first concert 
there. ' Yes, my friend, it is true, what the 
whole world declares, that lie hns given himself 
over to the devil, body and soul, in order to be- 
come the best riolinist in the world, and fiddle 
millions of luoueyj and finally to get away from 
the damned galleys where he had suffered many 
years.' Eor, you see, friend, when he was leader 
of the orchestra in Lucca, he fell in lo\'e with a 
theatrical princess, became jealous of a httle abbd, 

' It Beems incredible that trithin my recollection Psganiui (or 
his in:ipreBario) conld have excited an extraordmar; inti;rcat in 
the public b? circulating such reports. Mbdj laughed at them, 
but far more nsre moved or uffi'ctecl. "Who knows; there 
might be floDiEthing !□ it." It wna commonly said that Paga. 
□ini hod imprisuued tba loul oE hla mother in his violin. Thia 
mode a great impreEsioQ on me, being at the time a small hoy, 
and I can remember being detected by my mother in company 
with a younger brother engaged in killing a fly pr bee in a tt^ 
violin — iiur ii)t«ntion being that iti loul should eternally \mx» 
ID the instinrnent. — rraiis^uior. 




JO FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

wsis perhaps made cocv, Btabbcd liis untrue Amata 
in good Italian fashion, went for that to the gal- 
leys in Genoa, and at last sold himself to the devil 
to be dehvered and to become the greatest violin- 
player, and bo able to get out of us a tribute — 
of two thalers. . . . But, look ! " All good spirits 
praise God 1 " ' there he comes in the Avenue with 
his ambiguous famulus ! ' 

" In fact it was Paganini liimself whom I be- 
held. He wore a dark-grey overcoat, which came 
to his tcct, making him appear extremely talL 
His long black liair fell in tangled locks on his 
Khoulders, forming a dark frame for the pale, 
forpse-like countenance, in which care, genius, 
and hell combined had graved their ineffaceablB 
sign& By him capered along a short, corafort- 
itble-Iooking figure, commonplace, showy in dress, 
with a rosy wrinkled face, liglit-grey sliort coat 
with steel buttons, greeting right and left with 
irresistible amiability, but all the time squinting 
sideways with anxious apprehension at the dark 
form whicli, serious and reflecting, walked by his 
side. It recalled tlie picture by Iletzsch, in which 
Faust is walking witli Wagner before the gate 
of Leipzig, The deaf artist commented on both 
figures in his wild fashion, and bade me observe 
carefully the measured long step of Paganini. 
' Is it not,' he said. ' as if lie still liad the iron 

' An old German JHvocati"!! agaiDat dreaded ppirits, ppeotrea, ia 



J 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 31 

cross rod between his legs ? Ho has got the 
convict 8tep and can never lose it. See liow 
rontemptuously and ironically lie often looka 
down at Uis companion when he bores him with 
his commonplace questions ; — and yet he cannot 
get rid of him — a liloody contract binds liim to 
that servant, who is Siititn liimsclf. Ignorant 
people think, of course, that this companion is 
the writer of comedies and anecdotes, Harrj-a of 
Hanover, whom I'aganini takes with him as Dusi- 
nes3-nianager for his concerts ; but the multitude 
does nob know that tlie de.vj] took the form of 
Mr. George Harrys, the soul he keeps locked up 
with other rubbish in a chest in Hanover, where 
it will remain till the devil restores its proper 
ileshly envelope, when lie will probably accom- 
pany his master, Paganini, through tlie world in 
the more befitting form of a black poodle,' 

"But if Pi^nini seemed to rae sufficiently 
incredible and wonderful as I saw him walking 
under the green leaves of the Hamburg Jnng- 
femsteig, what were my impressions of his fear- 
fidly eccentric apparition that evening in the 
concert ! This was given in the Comedy Theatre 
of Hamburg, and the art-loving public had assem- 
bled ao early and in such numbers tliat it was 
with difficulty that I conquered a place by the 
orchestra. Though it was post-day I saw in the 
baleony-hoxes the whole refined and cultured 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

business world ^ — a whole Olympus of banker* 
and Einiilar millionaires, the gods oE coFTee and 
Bugar, with their plump wife-goddesses, Junoa of 
the Wandrahm and Aphrodites of DreckwalL 
There was a holy quiet in all tlie hall. Every 
eye was turned to the stage, every ear prepared 
to hear. My neighbour, an old huckster in fura, 
took the cotton from his eare, the better to take 
in the expensive tones, whieh cost two dollars 
en trance- money. At last there appeared on the 
stage a dark figure, which seemed to have risen 
from the under-world. It was Paganini, in his 
black dress suit;* the black evening coat and 
black waistcoat, of an appalling cut, were pro- 
bably such as are prescribed by infernal etiquette 
at the court of Proserpine, wliile the loose trou- 
sers flapped vexatiously on tlie thin legs of tho 
maestro. His long arms seemed to grow yet 
longer, as he held the violin in one hand, the 
bow down in the other, and almost bowed to the 
ground as he bestowed on the public his unlieard- 
of reverence. In the angular bending of hia 
body there wag a fearful woodennesa, and at the 
same time something foolishly brute-like, which 
would have caused laughter at his salutation ; but 

1 Die game gcl-Udele Uandetticdt, 

' At the tims bece in ([aeation an entire suit of blncli fc 
one not in mourning was unusual i:nouj;li to attract atte 
Dumm mentinns itM aontetbiagdUtingiUin the Count of Mui 
ChriBto. 



2 



I 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 33 

his face, Mhich, in the strong orehestml illumina- 
tion, seemed more corpse- like than ever, had in 
it something so bashfully modest thiit a slimlder- 
pity suppressed our desire to laugh. Had 
he learned those bows from an automaton or a, 
dog ? Was that imploring look that of one in 
deathly illness, or was there lurldng behind it the 
mockery of a crafty money-gnjhber ? "Was tliat a 
living man, who knows that he is about to perish 
and who will delight the public in the arena of 
art, lilve a dying gladiator with liis convulsions 
or a dead man risen from the grave, a vampire 
with a violin, who, if he does not suck blood 
from our hearts, will, come what may, draw the 
money from our pockets ? 

" Such questions crossed one another flitting 
in our heads while I'aganiui nuide his unceasing 
compliments in gesture, but all aueii thoughts 
flitted afar when the wondrous master set liis 
violin to his cliin and began to play. As for 
me, you know well my musical second sight^ — my 
gift of seeing with every note which I hear its 
corresponding figure of sound ; and so it came 
that Paganini, with every stroke of his bow, 
brought visible forms and facts before my eyes ; 
that he told me in a musical picture-writing all 
kinds of startling stories ; that he juggled befjiro 
me at the same time a show of coloured Chinese 
Bhadows, in all of which he with his violin was 



34 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

chief actor. Even with the first note from hu 
bow the scene changed; he stood all at once 
with his music-desk in a cheerful hall, which 
was gaily and irregularly decorated with curved 
and twining furniture in the Pompadour style, 
everywhere little mirrors, gilt cupids, Chinese por- 
celain, an exquisitely cliarming chaos of ribbons, 
flower garlands, white gloves, torn laces, false 
pearls, diadems of gilt sheet metal, and sinular 
celestial theatrical properties, such as one sees in 
the sanctum of a prima donna. Paganini s exter- 
nal appearance had also changed, very much 
indeed to liis advantage ; ^ he wore knee-breeches 
of lilac satin, a silver embroidered white waist- 
coat, a coat of light-blue satin with buttons wound 
with gold ; and little locks of carefully curled hair 
played round his face, which bloomed with the 
roses of youth and gleamed with sweetest ten- 
derness, when he eyed the pretty little dames 
who stood round his music-desk while he played 
his violin. 

" Indeed I saw by his side a pretty young 
creature, in old-fashioned dress of white satin 
puffed out on the hips, the waist seeming for 
that all the more piquantly narrow, the powdered 
hair frisked aloft, the pretty round face flashing 

^ Heine called himself a romanticist, but as regards th« 
practical art of life and its associations, his heart was reaUj in 
the later Renaissance, or 3aroq\;e period of the Regency.-* 
Translator, 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 35 

out all the more freely with its dazzling eyes, its 
rouged cheeks, court plaster beauty-patches, and 
impertinent sweet little nose. She held in her 
hand a white scroll of paper, and by the move- 
ments of her lips, and the coquettish movements 
of her form, seemed to be singing, but I could not 
hear one of her trills, and it was only by the 
playing of the violin with which the youthful 
Paganini accompanied the charming child that I 
could imagine what she sang, and what he him- 
self felt in his soul while she sang. Ah ! those 
were melodies such as the nightingale flutes in 
the twilight, when the perfume of the rose intoxi- 
cates her sympathetic heart, inspired by Spring 
with deepest longing. Ah ! that was a melting, 
voluptuous, deep-desiring happiness ! There were 
tones which kissed, and then, pouting, turned 
away, and again laughing, embraced and melted 
together, and then lost, enraptured, intoxicated, 
died away in one. • Yes, the tones mingled in gay 
sport, like butterflies when one in jest flies from 
another, hides itself behind a flower, is found and 
hunted out, and finally, light-hearted and trifling, 
flutters up with the other — up into the golden 
sunlight. But a spider — a vile spider — can bring 
about a dire tragedy for such enamoured butter- 
flies. Did the young heart divine aught like 
that ? A long melancholy sighing tone, like the 
premonition of a coming evil, slid slowly through 



36 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

the most enrapturing melodies which flashed 
from Paganini's playing ; his eyes became moist ; 
worshipping he knelt before his Amata — but oh ! 
as he bowed to kiss her feet he saw beneath the 
bed — a little abbd I I do not know what he had 
against the poor man, but the Genoese became 
pale as death ; he grappled in rage the little fellow, 
gave him boxes on the ear and not a few kicks, 
hurled him headlong out of doors, and then, 
drawing a stiletto from his pocket, plunged it 
into the breast of the young beauty. 

" At that instant cries of ' Bravo ! Bravo ! ' 
rang from every side. Hamburg's inspired men 
and women paid their tribute of the most roaring 
applause to the great artist, who had ended the 
Urst part of his concert, and who with more 
angles and contortions than before bowed before 
tl\em. It seemed to me that in his face was a 
more imploring humility than ever, but in his 
eyes flickered a tormenting fear like a wretched 
sinners. 

" ' Divine ! * cried my neighbour, the fur- 
dealer ; * that piece alone was well worth two 
thalers.' 

" When Paganini began to play again it seemed 
to be dark before my eyes. The tones did not 
change as before into bright shapes and hues; 
the form of the Master wrapped itself in gloomy 
shadows, from whose depth his music came wail* 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. J; 

ing in the most cutting accents of sorrow. Only 
from time to time, as a little lamp which hung 
over him cast a feeble light on his features, could 
I see his pallid countenance, which still retained 
traces of youth. His garb was strange indeed — 
divided in two parts, one red, one yellow. Heavy 
fetters hung to his feet. Behind him grimaced a 
face whose physiognomy indicated a jovial, he-goat 
nature ; and I saw long, hairy hands which seemed 
to belong to it, moving now and then on the 
strings of the violin which Paganini played, often 
guiding his hand, while a floating, applauding 
laugh accompanied the tones which welled forth 
more painfully, and as if bleeding, from the violin. 
They were tones like the song of the fallen angels 
who had wooed and wantoned with the daughters 
of Earth, and been banished from the kingdom of 
the blest, and fallen, with cheeks burning with 
shame, into the under- world : tones in whose 
bottomless abyss there was neither comfort nor 
hope. Should the holy in heaven hear such 
music the praise of God would be mute on their 
pale lips, and they, weeping, would hide their 
pious heads. Ever and anon, when in the melo- 
dious torments of this piece the oUigato goat- 
laughter came bleating in, I saw in the back- 
ground a multitude of little female figures, who, 
spitefully-merry, nodded their horrible heads 
and rubbed their breasts in mocking mischief. 



38 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

Tlicu there came in hurried crowds from the violin 
sounds of pain, and a terrible sighing and gasping, 
such as no one ever lieard on earth before, and 
perhaps will never liear again, unless it shall bo 
in the Vale of Jeliosliaphat, wlien the tremen- 
dous trumpets of tlie Last Judgment ring out, 
and tlie naked cori^ses creep from tlieir graves 
to await their doom. But the tormented vio- 
linist suddenly drew liis bow so madly and 
desperately tluit liis rattling fetters burst, and 
tlie diabolic(d ally with the mocking demons 
disappeared. 

" At that instant my neighbour, the fur-dealer, 
said, ' rity ! pity ! he has burst a string. That 
comes of his constant pizzicato / * ^ 

" Had a string really burst on the violin ? I 
do not know. I only observed the transfigura- 
tion of the tones, and then it seemed to me as if 
Paganini and all his surroundings were again 
suddenly changed. I could hardly recognise 
him in the brown monk's dress, which rather 
disguised than clothed him. His wild and 
wasted face half-hidden by the hood, a rope 
round his waist, Paganini stood on a cliff over- 
hanging the sea, and played his violin. It seemed 
to me to be twilight tide ; evening-flame flowed 

^ Said to have been a trick of Paganini's, who could play 
admirably on three or two strings, or even one, as no one ever 
did before or since. 



FLORENTINE NIOHTS. 39 

over the broad sea, which grew redder and redder, 
and rustled and roared more gaily and wildly in 
mysterious and perfect harmony with the violin. 
But the redder the sea became so much the more 
pallid grew the lieaven, and when at last the 
waving water looked like bright scarlet blood, then 
the sky overhead became ghostly clear, all corpse- 
white, and out came the stars — and these stars 
were black, black as shining anthracite. But 
the tones of the violin grew more stormy and 
bolder, and in the eyes of the terrible player 
there sparkled such a mocking delight in destroy- 
ing, and liis thin lips moved with such appalling 
rapidity, that it was clear he was murmuring 
ancient forbidden witch-spells with which storms 
are called up and those evil spirits evoked who 
lie imprisoned in the sea's abyss. Many a time 
did he, when stretching forth his long, lean, bare 
arm, and sweeping the bow in the air, seem to be 
in sooth and truth a wizard who, with a magic 
staff, commanded the elements, for then there 
was a mad, delirious howling in the depths of 
the sea, and the furious waves of blood leaped 
up so furiously on high that they almost be- 
sprinkled the pale heaven and its black stars 
with their red foam.^ 

^ In 1832-33 there was to be seen in every music-shop window 
a picture representing Pnganini as a sorcerer fiddling among 
witches and imps. — Translator, 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 



^ 



There was howling, crashiug, cracking, as if 
the whole world was brealiing to fragments, while 
the monk played more madly on hia violin, &a if 
he would, by the power of his raging will, burst 
the seven seals wherewith Solomon closed tlie 
iron jar in which he imprisoned the demons 
whom lie had subdued. That jar the wise king 
cast into the sea, and it seemed as if I heard 
the voices of the demons when Paganini's violin 
growled out its angriest basso notes. But after 
a while I thought I heard the joyous cry of those 
set free, and I saw rising one by one out of the 
red waves of blood the heads of the unchained 
demons, monsters of incredible hideousness, 
crocodiles with bat's wings, serpents with stag's 
horns, monkeys capped with conch shells, seals 
with patriarchal long beards, women's faces with 
breasts instead of cheeks, green camels' heads, 
wild hybrids of inconceivable composition,' all 
glaring gi'eedily with cold crafty eyes, and grasp- 
ing, with long webbed feet and fingers, at the 
fiddluig monk. Then in the raging zeal of in- 
vocation his capote fell back, and the ringlets 
flying in the wind curled round his head like 
black serpents. 

" It was all so maddening, that not to utterly 

' All of these momtere, excepting perlinps tho green cameli' 
heada, which I do nnt remember, are to be fouQiI in picti 
aiillen-Breughel and CMoL^Tranili 



ouQiI in picture* by I 



J'LORENTINE NIGHTS. 

lose my miuii I stuppeJ my ears and doseJ my 
Then the enchautment disappeared, and 
when I looked again I saw the poor Genoese in 
Ma wonted form malting his usual bows, while 
the public applauded rapturously. 

' " That ia the celebrated performance on the G 
string,' remarked my neighbour. ' I play the 
violin myself, and know what it is to have such 
mastery over the instrument I ' 

" Fortunately the interval was not long, else my 
musical fur-dealer had ceitainly involved me in 
a tiresome talk on art Pagauini set his violin 
leisurely to his chin, and with the first touch of 
hia bow, there began again the wondrous trans- 
figuration of tones. But now they were neither 
BO startling in colour or so marked in form. 
They came forth calmly, majestically, waving and 
rising like those of an organ choral in a cathedral ; 
and all the surroundings seemed to have expanded 
to a colossal space, such as no bodily vision hut 
only the eye of the spirit can grasp. In the 
midst of this space swept a burning ball, on which 
stood a man of giant stature and grand in pride, 
who played the violin. Was this sphere of light 
the sun ? I know not. But in the features of 
the man I recognised Paganiui, ideally beautified, 
celestially refined, atoned for divinely.and smiling. 
This body was fresh and faiz' in vigorous manli- 
uess ; a light-blue garment was about his now fai 



42 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

nobler limbs, the black hair flowed in sliiniug 
locks on his shoulders, and as he stood there, 
firm and confidently, like the sublime statue of a 
god, and played the violin, it seemed as if all 
creation obeyed his tones. He was the man- 
planet round whom the universe moved, ringing 
with measured joy and in happy rhythm. Were 
those great lights which swept so calmly gleaming 
round him stars of heaven ? Were those sweet- 
sounding harmonies which were caused by their 
motion, the music of the spheres, of which poets 
and seers have told so much that is bewildering 
and strange ? Sometimes when with an effort I 
looked forth and far into the dim distance, I 
seemed to see white waving garments, in which 
colossal pilgrims wandered in disguise, with 
staves in their hands ; and, strange ! the gold 
heads of their staves were those same great lights 
which I had taken for stars. These pilgrims 
went in a vast procession around the great player ; 
the heads of their staves flashed reflected light 
from the tones of his violin ; and the chorals which 
rang from their lips, and which I had taken for 
the noise of the spheres, were really only the re- 
bounding eclioes of his violin. An ineffable, 
nameless passion dwelt in these sounds, which 
often quivered almost inaudibly, like mysterious 
whispering on water, then again swelled up 
sweetly-terrible, like the tones of hunters* horns 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 43 

by moonlight/ and then burst out into unbridled 
rejoicing, as though a thousand bards were sweep- 
ing the strings and raising their voices in a song 
of victory. That was the music which no ear has 
heard, only the heart can dream it when by night 
it rests against the heart of the beloved. But it 
may be that the heart comprehends it even in the 
clear, bright daylight, when it rejoicing loses itself 
in the lines of beauty and ovals of a Greek work 
of art." 

" Or when a man. had had a bottle too much of 
champagne," cried a laughing voice, which woke 
our narrator as if from a dream. As he turned 
he saw the doctor, who, with black Deborah, had 
softly entered the room to learn what efifect his 
medicine had had on the invalid. 

" I do not like this sleep," said the doctor, as 
he pointed to. the sofa. 

Maximilian, who, sunk in the fantasies of his 
own speech, had not observed that Maria had 
long been asleep, bit his lips as if vexed. 

"This sleep," continued the doctor, "gives 
the face an appearance which has all the char- 
acter of death. Does it not look like one of 

^ This seems to have been suggested by a very wild and 
beautiful German song and melody : — 

" There is a hunter who blows his horn, 
And ever by the night I 
He blows the deer from out the com, 
And ever by the night ! *' 



44 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

those white masks, or plaster easts, in which we 
try to preserve the traits of the departed ? " 

"And I would like," whispered Maximilian, 
*' to have such a cast of our friend. She will be 
very beautiful, even in death." 

"I advise you not to have it," replied the 
doctor. " Such masks lead astray our memories 
of the loved ones. We feel as if there was in 
them something of their lives still kept, while 
that which is really retained is actually death 
itself. Features which are regular and beautiful 
then become hard and frozen, satirical, or repul- 
sive,^ by which they terrify us more than they 
please. But casts become complete caricatures 
when they are from faces whose charm was of a 
spiritual, refined nature, and whose features were 
less regular than . interesting, for as soon as the 
graces of life are extinguished in them the actual 
departures from the ideal lines of beauty are no 
longer balanced by mental charms. One thing 
also is common to all these casts — it is a certain 
enigmatic expression which, the more we study 
them, the more it runs shivering like frost 
through the soul : they all look like people who 
intend to take a long journey." 

"And whither?" asked Maximilian, as the 
doctor took his arm and led him forth. 

1 Fatalei, Absolutely adverse or destructive. 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. <$ 



SECOND NIGHT. 

" And why will you torment me with this 
horrible medicine, since I must die so soon ? " 

Maria had just said this, as Maximilian had 
entered the room. The physician stood before 
her holding in one hand a vial of medicine, in 
the other a little cup, in which foamed a very 
unpleasant-looking brownish liquid. 

"My dearest friend," he said to Maximilian, 
" your presence is very much needed just now. 
I beg you try to induce Signora to swallow these 
few drops. I am in a great hurry." 

" I beg you, Maria ! " said Maximilian, in the 
soft voice which was not often heard from him, 
and which seemed to come from a pained heart, 
so that the patient, deeply moved, almost forget- 
ting her own suffering, took the cup. But ere 
she put it to her mouth she said, smiling : " To 
reward me you will tell the story of Laurence ? " 

"All that you desire shall be done," assented 
Maximilian. 

The pale lady drank the contents of the cup, 
half smiling, half shuddering. 

" I am in a hurry," said the doctor, as he drew 
on his black gloves. " Lie down calmly, Signora^ 



46 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

and move as little as possible. I am in a 
hurry." 

lie left the room accompanied by black 
Deborah, who lighted him forth. When the 
two friends were alone they looked at one 
another for a long time in silence. There were 
thoughts in the souls of both which neither 
would express. Then the woman suddenly 
grasped the man's hind and covered it with 
burning kisses. 

"For God's sake!" said Maximilian, "do not 
exert yourself so much, and lie calmly on the 
sofa." 

As Maria obeyed him, he very carefully 
covered her feet with the shawl, which he 
first kissed. Slie must have seen this, for hef 
eyes twinkled like those of a happy child. 

"Was Mademoiselle Laurence very beauti- 
ful ? " 

" If you will not interrupt me, dear friend, 
and promise to be calm and quiet, I will tell 
you circumstantially all that you wish to hear." 

Smiling at the assenting glance of Maria, 
Maximilian sat on the chair before the sofa, 
and thus began his story : — 

" It is now eight years since I went to London 
to learn the language and people there. The 
devil take the people with their language ! They 
take a dozer monosyllables in mouth, chew them, 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS, 47 

crush them, and spit them out, and call that 
talking. But by good luck they are naturally 
tolerably taciturn, and though they always staro 
at us open-mouthed they at least spare us long 
conversations. But woe to him who meets a son 
of Albion who has made the grand tour, and 
learned to speak French. He will avail himself 
of the opportunity to practise the language, and 
overwhelm us with questions as to all subjects 
conceivable, and hardly is one answered before he 
begins with another either as to our age or home 
or how long we intend to remain where we are, 
and he believes that this incessant questioning 
is the best method to entertain us.^ One of my 
friends in Paris is perhaps right when he declares 
that the English learn to converse in French at 
the Bureau des passeports. Their conversation 
is most edifying at table when they carve their 
colossal roast beef, and with the most serious air 
ask us what part we prefer, rare or well done, 
from the middle or the brown outside, fat or lean ? 
But roast beef and ipauttou are all they have 

* There are many extraordinary conceptions in this work — 
that of comparing Paganini to Jehovah is not bad in its way — 
but for a tremendous perversion of truth this accusation of the 
English as impertinent questioners is unsurpassed. I have tra- 
veUed much in my life and know the English fairly well, and 
consider that of aU people on the face of the earth they mind 
their own business most, and are least given to such queries.— 
Translator. 



4S 



FLORENTINE MGHTS. 



which is good' Heaven keep every Chnelian 
from their gravies, which are made of one-third 
meal and two-thirds butter, or when a change ia 
needed, one-third butter and two-thirds meal i 
And Heaven guard every one from their naive 
vegetables whicli, boiled away in water, are 
brought to the tables just as God made them I 
But more terrible than the cookery of the Eng- 
lish are their toasts, with the obligatory standing 
speeclies when the table-cloth is removed and 
the ladies departed, and so many bottles of port 
are in their phiee, which ore supposed to be the 
best substitute for the fair sex ; but I may well 
say the fair sex, for English women deserve this 
name. They are beautiful, white, tall creatnrea, 
only the too great space between the mouth and 
nose, which is as common among them as with 
the men, often spoiled for me, in England, the 
most beautiful faces. This departure from the 
type of tlie beautiful impresses me more horribly 
when 1 ace English people here in Italy, where 
their sparingly measured noses, and the broad 
space between them and the mouth, make a more 
startling contrast with the faces of the Italians, 

' "Maiimilian," it would appear, while in London, had acceM 
onl; to the plaineBt OiCy ordiDBciea. But in tbia atjte o! deecrip- 
tioD be is f&r outdons by a. noble French tourist, vho decWe& 
in a receatlj published book of travela, that in aU the United 
States be foand nolklng fit to eat. Tbis ia worse even than 
pkiu roif-ta. — rronjfntor. 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 49 

whose traits are of a more antique regularity, and 
whose noses, either aquiline like the Roman or 
straight like the Greek, often go into excess of 
length. It was very well remarked by a German 
that the English, when among Italians, look like 
statues with the noses knocked off. 
' " Yes, when, we meet English people in a 
foreign country ih^ir defects first become striking 
by comparison. They are the gods of ennui, 
who, in shining, varnished coaches, drive extra- 
post through every country, and leave everywhere 
a grey dust-cloud of sadness behind them.^ Hence 
comes their curiosity without interest, their bedi- 
zened, over-dressed coarseness,^ their insolent bash- 
fulness, their angular egotism, and their dismal 
delight in all melancholy things. For three 
weeks we have seen every day on the Piazza del 
gran Duca an Englishman who stands for hours 
gaping at the charlatan who, while seated on a 
horse, draws teeth. This spectacle is perhaps 
for the noble son of Albion an equivalent for the 
executions which he neglected to attend in his 

^ It is very characteristic of nervous, frivolous natures that 
they cannot conceive of gravity or calmness except as associated 
with dulness and suffering. The North American Indians are 
the most imperturbable of mortals, but they certainly suffer less 
from ennui than any others. But Heine had in reality only a 
very second-hand stage-knowledge of the English. 

« Geputzte Plumpheit, This implies rather a burly bluffness, 
hot Very much given to consider refined feelings. It is a little 
less than literal coarseness. 

D 



FLOREl^TINE NIGHl'S. 

dear luUvc land. For after boxing and cock- 
fighting there is no sight so delightful to a Briton 
as the agony oE a poor devil who has stolen a 
sheep or imitated u signature, and who is ex- 
hiliited for an hour before the facade of the Old 
Bailey with a rope round his neck before he ia 
hurled into eternity. It is no exaggeration to 
eay that sheep-stealing and forgery in that abomi- 
nably cruel country are punished not less severely 
tlian the most revolting crimes, snch as parricide 
and incest. I myself happenijig to eome that 
way by mere chance, saw a man himg in London 
for stealing a sheep, and from that time forth 
lost all relish for roast mutton — the fat always 
put nie in mind of the white cap of the poor 
sinner.' With liim was hanged an Irishman, 
who had imitated the writing of a rich banker, 
and I think I can still see the naive deathly 
^ony of poor Taddy, who before the assizes could 
not understand why he was so severely punished 

' Heine appears to be oblWinus liere to the fnct that within 
hia owQ liFfltimB oriminnU were publicly broken on the wheel 
i& Genniuiy. EU synipathj Tor the Iriahiunn who sAindled " a 
rich banker" ii but nitunl, if we may tKHere wliat is told in 
his Livei, that he himaelf, when in England, having been io- 
tniBted by hia uncle with a letter of cmdit, un the eipreu con- 
i^ition that ha abouM nnl;^ ueo a part ol it, drca the whoU. 
When hiR nncle fnund fault with him fur tliLi<, tbe nephew naked 
tiini, with an audaciona JoKalenee that ataggered the great 
banker, " My dear uncle, did you really expect not to have to 
pny for the honour of bearing my iinine f "—Tmndat^. 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 



I for imitating other men's signatures, when he 
was quite willing to let any mortal man imitate 
his own ! And these people talk always ahout 
Christianity, and go to church every Sunday, and 
flood the world with Bibles ! ' 
" I must own, Miiria, that if nothing was to 
my taste in England, neither men nor meat, the 

I fault lay partly in myself. I had hrouglit a good 
stock of ill-tempeT and discontent with mc from 
home, and I sought to be cheered up by a race 
which can only subdue its own ennui in the 
whirlpool of political and mercantile action. The 
perfection of machinery, which is there every- 
where applied to some purpose, and which 
executes so many human tasks, had for mo 
something myaterioua and terrible ; the artificial 
headlong action of wheels, shafts, cylindcra, with 
a thousand small hooks, cogs, and teeth, which 
whirl so madly, filled mc with dread. The de- 
finiteness, the esactness, the meted out and mea- 
Biu-ed punetunlity of life, tormented me quite as 
much, for as the machines in England seem like 
men, so the men seem to me like mere machines. 
L Yes, wood, iron, and brass, these seem to have 
J nsurped the spirit of humanity, and often to he 
I raging with fulness of intelligence, while Man, 

' Hsidly to be cited aa iticoTuisteiit. Ananias and Sapphin 
■re struck dead — very di-servedly— for oheatiig tha ChriBtian 
uiiniinity out of a email earn nnd iyiag. — Trandaloi: 






52 FLORE STI\E MGIITS. 

T^ith his soul gone, attends like a machine to hii 
husincss and afTairs ; eats at the appointed minute 
his beefsteak, delivers parliamentary speeches, 
brushes his nails, mounts the stage-coach, or — 
hangs himself. 

" How my displeasure and discontent increased 
every day in this land, you may well imagine. 
]>ut nothing could surpass the gloomy mood 
which once came over me as I, towards evening, 
stood on Waterloo Bridge and looked down into 
the Tliamcs. It seemed to me as if my sonl, 
with all its scars, was mirrored there, and looked 
up at mc from the water. Tlien the most dis- 
tressing memories vexed my mind. I thought 
of the rose daily sprinkled with vinegar, which 
thereby paid penance with its sweetest perfume, 
and prematurely died; of the stray butterfly, 
whom a naturalist who once climbed Mont Blanc 
saw fluttering in solitude among blocks of ice; 
of the tame she-monkey, who was so familiar 
with men that she played and ate with them; 
but one day she recognised in the roast on the 
table her own little one, and, catching it up, 
rushed into the forest, and never came among 
mankind again. Ah ! T was so wretched and 
sad that the hot tears leapt from my eyes ; they 
fell into the Thames, and swam forth into the 
great ocean, which hjis already swallowed so 
many without obsers'ing them. 




FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 



a 



"It bappened at this instant that a strange 
' music woke me from my dark dreams, and, 
looking round, I saw a gronp of people wlio 
seemed to form a ring round some entertaining 
show. I drew near, and saw a family of artists 
consisting of these four persona. 

" Firstly, a little dumpy woman, dressed in 
black, who had a very little head, and before her 
a very big drum, on which she hammered away 
without mercy. 

" Secondly, a dwarf, who wore an embroidered 
eoat like that of an old French marquis, and had 
a great, powdered head, but very slender limbs, 

Pftnd who, while skipping, beat a triangle. 
[ " Thirdly, a girl of perhaps fifteen years, who 
wore a short, close-fitting jacket of blue-striped 
silk, with full, wide trousers to match. 1 1 was au 
aerial and charming 6gure, the face of a perfectly 
beautiful Greek type. She had a noble, straight 
nose, beautifully curled lips, a dreamy, softly- 
rounded cliin, her complexion sunny brown, with 
the shining black hair wound over the temples. 
Thus she stood, tall and serious, as it seemed out 
of tune or in ill-temper, and looked at the fourth 
member of the troupe, who was engaged in an 
Brtistie performance. 

" This fourth person was a learned dog — a very 

promising poodle — who had, to the great delight 

^uf the English public, put together, from the 



P"^ 



S4 FLORENTINE NIQHTS. 

wooden letters kid before him, the name of LoiiD 
Wellington, and added to it the very flattering 
word Hero. And as the dog, as one could easily 
SCO by his intelligent appearance, was no English 
brute, but had come with the other three per- 
formers from Franco, the sons of Albion rejoiced 
that their great general had, at least from the 
dc^ of France, that recognition of bis greatness 
which was so meanly denied to him by the other 
creatures of that country. 

" This company was in fact French, and the 
dwarf, who announced himself as Monsieur Tur- 
lutu, began to bluster and boast in French with 
such passionate gestures that the poor English 
gaped with their mouths, and lifted their noses 
higher than ever. lie often, after a long sen- 
tence, crowed like a coclt, and these cock-a-doodle- 
doos, and the names of many emperors, kings, and 
princes which he scattered here and there, were 
all that the poor spectators understood. He 
boasted that these emperors, kings, and princca 
had been his patrons and friends. Even when 
only eight years of age he had, as he declared, 
held a long conversation with his late majesty 
Louis XVI., who subsequently frequently con- 
sulted him in most important affairs. He had, like 
many others, escaped the storms of the Revolution, 
nor was it till the Empire that he returned to 
liis dear native land to take part in the glory 



■PLORENTINE NIGHTS. jj 

of la grande nation. Napoleon, he declurwl, had 
bever liked him, but he had been almost idolised 
by His Holiness Pope Pius Ihe Seventh. The 
Emperor Alexander had given him bon-bons, and 
the Princess Willielm von Kyritz always took 
hi"! on her lap. His Serene Highness, Duke 
Karl oE Brunswick, had let him ride many a time 
on his dog, and His Majesty King Louis of 
Bavaria hat! read to liim his sublime poems. 
The piinces of Reuss Schleiz-Krcuz and of 
Schwarzburg-Sondershnusen loved him like a 
brother, and always smoked from the same pipe 
with hint. Yes, from childhood, he declared, ha 
had always lived only among sovereigns ; the 
contemporary monaivhs had grown up familiar 
with him, he regarded them as his equals, and 
always wore mourning when one of them passed 
away. After these words of weight he crowed 
again like a cock. 

" Monsieur Turlutu was really one of the 
most curious dwarfs whom I had ever seen, for 
Ilia wrinkled, ancient face formed such a comical 
contrast to Ida little, childlike body, and his whole 
person contrasted yet more funnily with his feats. 
For ho next assumed the most defiant positions, 
and with an inhumanly long rapier stabbed the 
air right and left, while he incessantly swore on 
his honour that this carte or that tierce could 
not be parried by any one, that bis parade was 



56 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

unassailable, and that he challenged any oln 
present to compete with him in the noble art 
of fencing. 

'* After the dwarf had for some time amused 
the multitude in tliis manner, and found that no 
one would fight in public a duel with him, he 
bowed with old French grace, thanked his audi- 
ence for the favour with which they had received 
him, and took the freedom to announce to the 
higlily lionourable public the most extraordinary 
exhibition which had ever been admired on 
English ground. ' You see this person,' he cried, 
as he drew on a dirty kid glove, and led the 
young girl of the troupe mth respectful gallantry 
to the midst of tlie ring ; ' this lady is Mademoi- 
selle Laurence, the only daughter of the noble 
and Christian lady whom you see there with the 
drum, and who now wears mourning on account 
of the recent deatli of her deeply-loved husband, 
who was the greatest ventriloquist in Europa 
Mademoiselle Laurence will now dance ! Ladies 
and gentlemen will please to admire the dance of 
Mademoiselle Laurence I ' After which he again 
crowed. 

"The young girl did not seem to pay the 
slightest attention to this speech, nor to the gaze 
of those around. As if lost in troubled thought 
she waited till the dwarf had spread a carpet 
before her and began to play his triangle in 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS, 57 

accompaniment with the great drum. It was 
strange music, a mixture of awkward ill-temper 
and voluptuous tickling, and I noted in it a 
pathetic, fantastic, mournfully bold and bizarre 
melody, which was, however, of the strangest 
simplicity. But I forgot the music as soon as 
the young girl began to dance. 

" Both dancer and dance attracted my whole 
attention. It was not the classic dancing such 
as we still see in great ballets, where, as in classic 
tragedy, only sprawling unities and artificial 
eflfects flourish. It was not those footed Alex- 
andrines, those declamatory leaps, those anti- 
thetic entrechats, that noble passion which whirls 
in pirouettes so distractingly down on one foot 
that one sees nothing but heaven and stockinette 
— nothing but ideality and lies ! There is really 
nothmg so repulsive to me as the ballet in the 
great opera in Paris, where the traditions of 
* classic ' dancing have been most perfectly pre- 
served, while the French have overthrown tlio 
classic system in all other arts, poetry, music, 
and painting. But it will be hard for them to 
bring about a similar revolution in the art of 
dancing, unless it be that here, as in their poli- 
tical revolution, they fly to terrorism, and guillo- 
tine the legs of the obstinate male and female 
dancers of the old regime, 

" Mademoiselle Laurence was no great danscuse^ 



58 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

her toes were not very supple, her legs were not 
practised in all possible contortions ; she under- 
stood nothing of the art of dancing as Yestris 
teaches it, but she danced as Nature teaches ; her 
whole soul was in time with her steps ; not only 
did her feet dance, but her whole form and face. 
She often became pale, almost deadly pale ; her 
eyes opened spectrally wide, yearning and jJain 
convulsed her lips, while her black hair, which in 
smooth ovals inclosed her temples, moved like 
two flapping ravens* wings. It was indeed no 
classic dance, but neither was it romantic in the 
sense in which a young Frenchman of the school 
of Eugene Eenducl would explain the word. It 
had neither anything Mediaeval nor Venetian, 
nor distorted and deformed, nor Macabre — there 
was in it neither moonshine nor incest. It was 
a dance which did not attempt to amuse by out- 
ward phases of motion, but by phases which 
. seemed to be words of a strange language which 
would say strange things. But what did the 
dance say ? I could not understand it, however 
passionately it pleaded. I only felt that here 
and there something terribly, shudderingly pain- 
ful was meant. I who in other things grasp so 
readily the key of a mystery, could not solve this 
danced enigma, and that I sought in vain to find 
the sense was the fault of the music, which cer- 
tainly sought to lead me astray, which cunningly 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 59 

tried to bewilder me and set me wrong. The 
triangle of Monsieur Turlutu tittered many a 
time mockingly, while Madame the mother beat 
so angrily on her great drum that her face 
beamed out of the cloud of black hood round her 
face like a blood-red Northern light. 

"Long after the troupe had departed, I re- 
mained standing in the same place wondering 
what this dance could mean. "Was it some 
national dance of the South of France or of Spain ? 
These were recalled by the irrepressible energy 
with which the dancer threw her body to and 
fro, and the wildness with which she often threw 
her head backwards in the mad manner of the 
bold Bacchantce whom we see wilh amazement 
on the reliefs of antique vases. Her dance had 
in it something of intoxicated unwilfulness, 
something gloomily inevitable or fatalistic, for 
she danced like destiny itself. Or was it a 
fragment of some primsevally ancient, forgotten 
pantomime ? Or a secret tale of life, set to 
motion ? Very often the girl bent to the earth, 
with listening ear, as if she heard a voice calling 
up to her. Then she trembled like an aspen leaf, 
sprang quickly to the other side, and there in- 
dulged in her maddest gambols. Then she 
inclined her ear again to the earth, listened 
more anxiously than before, nodded with her 
head, grew sad and pale, shuddered, stood awhile 



6o FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

straight as a taper, as if frozen, and finally made 
a motion as if washing her hands I Was it blood 
which she so carefully, with such terrible anxiety, 
washed away ? Wliile doing this she cast 
to one side a glance so pitifully imploring, so 
soul-melting — and this glance fell by chance on 
me.^ 

" I thought all night long on this glance, on the 
dance, on the wild accompaniment, and as I, on 
the moiTow, roamed as usual about the streets, I 
felt a deep longing to meet the beautiful dancer 
again, and I pricked up my ears to perceive if 
I could the sound of drum and triangle music. 
I had at last found in London something which 
interested me, and I no longer wandered aimlessly 
about in its gaping streets. 

" I had just quitted the Tower, where I had 
carefully looked at the axe with which Anne 
BuUen was beheaded, the diamonds of the British 
crown, and the lions, when I beheld again 
Madame the mother with the great drum, and 
heard Monsieur Turlutu crowing like a cock. 
The learned dog again raked together the heroism 
of Lord Wellington, the dwarf displayed his in- 

^ Making due allowance for the manner of description, and 
the hand-washing fragment borrowed from the ballet of Macbeth, 
it would appear that Heine had seen somewhere a dance by 
some Hungarian or Russian gypsy girl, without knowing what 
it meant The listening to the speech of the Pchuvua or earth- 
spirit proves this. 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 6l 

vincible carte and tierce, and Mademoiselle 
Laurence began once more her wonderful dance. 
And there were again the same enigmatical 
movements, the same language speaking what 
I could not understand, the same impetuous 
casting back of the beautiful head, the same 
listening at the ground, the terror which relieved 
itself by mad leaps, again the listening to the 
voice below, the trembling, the growing pale, the 
frozen silence, the frightfully mysterious washing 
of hands, and at last the side glance, imploring 
and beseeching, which she cast at me, lasting 
this time longer than before. 

" Yes, women, girls as well as matrons, know 
at once when they have attracted the attention 
of a man. Although Mademoiselle Laurence, 
when not performing, always stood motionless 
and sad, and while she danced hardly looked at 
the public, from this time it was no longer by 
chance that her glance ever fell on me, and the 
oftener I saw her dance the more significantly 
she looked, but still more incomprehensible was 
her expression. I was as if bewitched by this 
glance, and for three weeks from morning till 
evening did I walk the streets of London, stop- 
ping wherever Mademoiselle Laurence danced. 
In spite of the great noise of the multitude I 
could catch at the greatest distance the sound 
of the drum and triangle, and Monsieur Turlutu. 



62 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

as soon as he saw me coming, raised his most 
friendly crow. And without ever speaking a 
word to him or with Mademoiselle Laurence, with 
Madame M6re, or with the learned dc^, I seemed 
in the end to l>elong entirely to the troupa 
"When Monsieur Turlutu took up his collections, 
lie always behaved with the most refined tact, as 
stx)n as ho drew near me, and always looked 
away when I threw into the three-cornered hat 
a small coin. He had really an aristocratic 
manner ; he recalled the exquisite politeness of 
the past. One could see in the little man that he 
had grown up among monarchs, and so much 
the stranger did it seem and quite below his 
dignity when he crowed like a cock. 

" I cannot tell you how sad I felt when for 
three days I souglit in vain for the little troupe 
in all the streets, and at hist was certain they 
had left London. The blue devils held me once 
more in their leaden arms, and squeezed my 
heart together. At last I could endure it no 
longer, and bade adieu to the mob, the black- 
guards, the gentlemen, and the fashionables of 
England — the Four Estates of the realm — and 
travelled back to the civilised world, where I knelt 
down, devoutly praying, before the white apron 
of the first cook whom I met. For here I could 
once more dine like an intelligent human being, 
and refresh my soul by the contemplation of 



FLORENTJSE MGHTS, 63 

unselfish faces. But I could never forget Made- 
moiselle Laurenca She danced a long time in 
my memory, and in idle hours I often reflected 
on the enigmatic pantomime of the beautiful 
child, especially on the listening at the earth 
with inclined ear. It was long ere the uncanny 
triangle and drum melody faded away from my 
mind. 

" And that is the whole story ? " cried Maria, 
as she rose passionately excited. 

But Maximilian gently pressed her back, laid 
his forefinger significantly on his mouth, and 
whispered, " Still — be still — speak not a word. 
Be good and calm, and I will tell you the tail 
of the story; but, for life, do not interi-upt 
me!" 

Then as he lolled back somewhat more com- 
fortably in his chair, he thus continued : — 

" Five years after all this I came for the first 
time to Paris, and that at a very remarkable 
time. The French had put their Eevolution of 
July on the stage, and the whole world applauded. 
This drama was not so terrible as the previous 
tragedies of the Eepublic and the Empire. Only 
a few thousand corpses remained on the show- 
ground, with which the political romanticists were 
not very well satisfied, and they announced a 
new piece in which more blood was to flow, and 
the executioner be much busier. 



64 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

" Faris delighted me by the giiiety which is 
there manifested in everything, and which sheds 
its influence even on darkened souls. Strange, 
Paris is the stage where the greatest tragedies of 
the world s history are acted — tragedies of which 
the memory, even in most distant lands, makes 
hearts tremble and eyes weep — but to him who 
sees them hero in Paris itself, it is as it once was 
with me when I saw the Tour de Nesle played at 
the Porte Saint Martin. For I was seated behind 
a lady who wore a hat of rose-red gauze, and 
this hat was so broad that it completely covered 
for me the whole stage-view, so that I only saw 
all that was being tragedied through the red gauze, 
and all the horrors of the Tour de Nesle appeared 
consequently in the gayest cotdeur de rose. Yes, 
there is such a roselight in Paris, wliich softens 
all tragedies for him who is close by, so that his 
enjoyment of life shall not be diminished. Even 
the terrors or troubles which one has brought to 
Paris in his own heart lose their power to tor- 
ment There all suflferings are soothed. In the 
air of Paris all wounds lieal more rapidly than 
elsewhere ; there is something in it as grandly 
elevating, as soothing, as charming as in the 
people themselves 

" What pleased me best in the Paris people was 
its polite manners and aristocratic mien. Sweet 
pine-apple perfume of politeness, how beneficently 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 6J 

■didst thou refresh my sick ami weary soul, which 
had imbibed in Germauy so much tobacco nausea, 
Bmell of saucr-liraut, and vulgarity ! The deliglit- 
ful and apt excuses of a Frenchman who, on the 
day of my arrival, had by accident run t^aiust 
me in the street, sounded to me like the melodies 
of RossiuL I was almost frightened at sucli 
sweet politeness, I who was accustomed to German 
boorish knocks in the ribs without a word of 
apology. During my first week in Paris I sought 
intentionally to be run against by people, that I 
might enjoy this apologetic music. But it is 
not merely from politencsa, but owing to their 
language itself, the French people have a peculiar 
coating of eminent refinement For, as you know, 
by us in the North the French language is 
an attribute of the higher nobility, and from 
childhood the idea of aristocracy was always 
associated in my mind with French. And 6o 
1 French market-woman > spoke better French 
^OQ a German comtesse of sLtty-four quarter- 

" On account of their language, which gives 
3m an aristocratic air, tlie French people hava 
I me something delightfully romantic in all 

' Dome dc la JIalU. Women noted for tbeir Paria j>atoii, or 
d&Dg and vulgarity. A comparison recalling the remark of the 
EDgliali or American lady, who, in commeatiog on the Buperi- 

Iority of the Gallic rnco to all otliew, remark-d that in Paris 
tfen the lowest itiibk'-hoys n-ore Freiii:h bouts. 



66 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

their ways and words. This camo from onothqr 
rcminisccnco of my childhood. For the first 
book in which I learned to read French was 
the Fables of Lafontaine, in which the naively 
sensible phrases made such an ineffaceable im- 
pression on my memory that, when I camo to 
l^aris and heard French spoken everywhere, I 
continually recalled the old storiea It seemed 
to me that I heard the well-known voices of 
the animals ; now the lion spoke, then the wolf, 
then the lamb, or the stork, or the dove— ever 
and anon master fox, and in memory many a 
time I heard — 

*Eh ! bonjour, Monsieur du Corbeau ! 
Que V0U8 etes joli 1 quo vous me semblez beau ! • 

"Such reminiscences of fables awoke in my 
soul much oftcner when I in Paris frequented 
the higher regions, which men called the world. 
For this was specially the world which supplied 
Lafontainc with the types of his animal char-^ 
actcrs. The winter season began soon after my 
arri\al in Paris, and I took part in the salon 
life in which that world moves more or less 
merrily. What struck me as most interesting 
in this world was not the equality as regards 
refined politeness which prevails in it, so much 
as tlie difference in its elements. Very often, 
when I in a grand salon looked round on the, 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 67 

people assembled there on the most friendly 
footing, it seemed as if I were in a curiosity- 
shop, where the relics of all ages are huddled 
higgledy-piggledy all together, a Greek Apollo 
by a Chinese pagoda, a Mexican Vilzliputzli 
by a Gothic Ecce Homo, Egyptian idols with 
dogs' heads, holy horrors of wood, ivory, and 
metal, and so on. There I saw old mousquelaircs 
who had once danced with Marie Antoinette, 
Eepublicans of mild observance who were re- 
garded as gods in the Assembloe Rationale, 
Montagnards without money and without re- 
proach, former members of the Directory who 
had been enthroned in tlie Luxembourg, bearers 
of great dignities under the Empire before whom 
all Europe had trembled, ruling Jesuits of the 
llestoration — in short, actual faded and mutilated 
divinities of all eras, in whom no one any longer 
believed^ The names howl on coming into con- 
tact, but the men looked peaceably and stood 
together in peace, lilce the antiquities of which 
T have spoken in the bric-i\-brac shops of the 
Quai Voltaire. In Germanic lands, where pas- 
sions are less amenable to discipline, such a 
social assemblage of such heterogeneous persons 
would be simply impossible. Neither is the 
need of conversation so great with us in tlie 
cold North, as in warmer France, where the 
bitterest enemies, when they meet in a salon, 



68 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

cannot long maintain a gloomy silence. And 
the desire to please is there carried so far, that 
people strive earnestly to be agreeable not only to 
their friends but even their enemies. Hence a 
constant disguise and display of graces, so that 
women have their own time of it to surpass 
men in their coquetry — but succeed in it all 
the same. 

" I mean indeed nothing wrong by this com- 
parison — and, on my life I nothing in detraction 
of French women, and least of all the Parisiennes. 
For I am their greatest adorer, and honour and 
admire them more for their defects than for their 
virtues. I know nothing so exquisitely to the 
point as a legend that the French women came 
into the world with all possible faults, but that a 
beneficent fairy took pity, and gave to every fault 
a magic by which it appeared as a fresh charm. 
This enchanting fairy is grace. Are all French 
women beautiful? Who can tell? Who hath 
seen through all the intrigues of the toilet, into 
whose heart hath it entered to decipher if that 
is real which the tulle betrays, or is that false 
which puffed-out silk parades? And if it be 
given to the eye to penetrate the shell even 
as we are intent to examine the kernel, lo it 
covers itself in a new hull, and yet again in 
another, and by means of this incessant meta- 
morphosis of modes they mock mankind. Are 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 69 

their faces beautiful? Even this is hard to 
determine. For all their features are in con- 
stant motion ; every Parisiennc has a thousand 
faces, every one more laughing, more spirituelle^ 
more charming than the other, and he would be 
well bewildered who under it all could detect the 
fairest, or the real face at all. Or are their eyes 
large ? What do I know ? We do not long 
examine the calibre of a cannon when its ball 
decapitates us. And even if they miss — these 
eyes — at least they dazzle us by their fire, and 
ho is glad enough who can get out of shot-range. 
Is the space between the nose and mouth broad 
or narrow ? Very often broad, when they turn 
up the nose ; very often small, when they scorn- 
fully curl their upper lips. Is her mouth great 
or small ? Who can tell where the lips leave 
off and laughing begins ? To form a coirect 
judgment, the one judging and the object judged 
must be in a condition of repose. But who can 
test by a Parisienne, and what Parisienne ever 
rests, herself? There are people who believe 
they can see a butterfly quite accurately when 
they have fastened it with a pin on paper, which 
is as foolish as it is cruel, for a fixed and quiet 
insect is a butterfly no longer. It must be seen 
while it flutters among the flowers, and the Pari- 
Bienne must not be studied in her domestic life, 
where she is pinned down, but in the salon, 



70 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

at soirees and balls, wliere she flies freely 
with tlic wings of embroidered gauze and silk 
among the flashing crystal crowns of delight 
and gaiety! Then is revealed in her an eager 
rapture in life, a longing for sweet sensuous 
oblivion, a yearning for intoxication, by which 
she is made almost terribly beautiful, and gains 
a charm which at once enraptures and shocks 
our soul. 

" This thirst to enjoy life, as if in another hour 
death would snatch them away from the spark- 
ling fountain of enjoyment, or as if this fountain 
would be in another hour sealed for ever — this 
haste, this rage, this madness of the Parisiennes, 
especially as shown in balls, always reminds mo 
of the legend of the dead dancing-girls who aro 
called by us the Willis.^ These are young 
brides who died before the wecMing-day, but 
who still have the unsatisfied mania for dancing 
so deeply in their hearts, that they rise by night 
from their graves and meet in crowds on tho 
highways, where they at midnight abandon them- 
selves to the wildest dances. In their bridal 
dresses, with wreaths of flowers on their heads, 
sparkling rings on their pale white hands, laugh- 

^ Not exactly by "tf«," but by the Slavonian races, among 
whom the Vila is a sylvan spirit who assumes many forms. 
There is a rather old French ballet on this theme called Lei 
WUIit. 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 71 

ing fearfully, irresistibly beautiful, the Willis 
dance in the moonshine, and they dance the 
more impetuously and wildly the more they 
feel that the hour allowed them for dancing is 
drawing to an end, and they must again descend 
to the icy cold of the grave. 

"It was at a soiree m the Chaussde d'Antin 
where this thought went deep into my soul. It 
was a brilliant reception, and nothing was want 
ing in all available ingredients of social enjoy- 
ment — enough lights to be seen by, enough 
mirrors to see one's self, enough people to squeeze 
among till one was warm, enough cazc siLcri and 
ices to cool one. It began with music. Franz 
Liszt had allowed liimself to be forced to the 
pianoforte, threw his hair up above his genial 
brow, and played one of his most brilliant battle- 
pieces. The keys seemed to bleed. If I am 
not mistaken, he played a passage from the 
Falingenesia of Balianche, whose ideas he trans- 
lated into music, which was a great advantage 
for those who do not know the works of this 
celebrated author iu the original. After this 
he played the March to the Gallows^ — la 
marche ati supplice — that glorious composition of 
Berlioz which this youug artist, if I do not err, 
composed on the morning of his wedding-day. 

" Thete were in the entire hall faces growing 

1 Der Gang nach der Ilinricktung, 



FLORENTIKE NIGHTS. 



ig the I 
lomea I 
With I 



pale, heaving bosoms, panting breaths duriug 
pauses, and at lost roaring applause. Women 
always seem intoxicated when Liszt plays, 
wild joy these Willis of the salon threw them' 
selves into the dance, and I had trouble to escape 
from the crowd into a side-room. Here play 
was going on, and a few ladies, reclining on 
great easy-chairs, took, or feigned to take, an 
interest in the game. Aa I passed by one of 
these d;inies, and her dreiss touched my ano, I 
felt a tiirill pass from my hand to my shoulder 
like a slight electric shock. And such a shock, 
but with full strength, shook my heart when I 
saw the lady's countenance. Was it she — or 
not ? There was the same comitenance which 
in form and sunny hue was lite an antiyue; 
only it was not so marbly-pure and marblo 
smooth aa before. A closely observant eye 
could detect on brow and cheeks faint traces 
aa of small-pox, which exactly resembled the 
wcatlier-marks which one sees on statues which 
have been for some time exposed to the rain. 
There were the same black locks which in 
smooth ovals covered the temples like raven's 
wings. But as her eye met nii''C, and that 
with the well-known side glance whose quick 
hghtning shot so enigmatically through my soul, 
I doubted no longer — it was Mademoiselle Laur- 
ence. 




FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 73 

"Leaning aristocratically, a bouquet in one 
hand, the other on the chair arm, Mademoiselle 
Laurence sat near a table, and seemed to give 
her whole attention to the cards. Her dress of 
white satin was becoming and graceful, yet quite 
simple. With the exception of bracelets and 
a brooch of pearls, she wore no omamenta A 
chemisette of lace covered her young bosom almost 
puritanically to the neck, and in this simplicity 
and modesty of dress she formed a touching, 
charming contrast with several older ladies, who, 
gaily ornamented and flashing diamonds, sat by 
her, and exposed the ruins of their former glory, 
the place where Troy once stood, in melancholy 
wasted nakedness. She still seemed wondrously 
lovely and charmingly sorrowful, and I felt irre- 
sistibly attracted to her, and finally stood behind 
her chair, burning with impatience to speak to 
her, but restrained by aggravating scruples of 
delicacy. 

" I had stood a little while behind her when 
she suddenly plucked a flower from her bouquet, 
and, without looking around, presented it to me 
over her shoulder. Strange was its perfume, and 
it exerted in me a strange enchantment. I felt 
myself freed from all social formalities; I was 
as if in a dream, where one acts and speaks 
and wonders at one's self, and where our words 
have a childlike, confiding, and simple character. 



74 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

Calmly, indifferently, carelessly, qm one speaks to 
an old friend, I inclined over the arm of the 
chair and softly said in her ear — 

" ' ilademoiselle Laurence, wliero is your 
mother with the drum ? ' 

" ' She is dead,' she replied, in the same calm» 
Indifferent tone. 

After a little pause I again bent over tlie 
arm of the chair and whispered — 

" ' ^lademoiselle liiurence, where is the learned 
dog?' 

" ' He has nm away out into the wide world/ 
she answered, in the same calm tone. 

"And again after a pause I leaned over tlio 
arm of the chair and whispered in her car — 

" ' Mademoiselle Laurence, where is Monsieiur 
Turlutu, the dwarf ? ' 

" ' He is witli the giants on tlxc Boulevard du 
Temple.' These words were just uttered— in 
tlic same easy, indifferent tone — when a serious, 
elderly man of conmianding military appearance 
approached her, and announced that the carriage 
was waiting. Slowly rising from her seat she 
took his arm, and, without casting a look at me, 
left the company. 

"When I asked our hostess, who had stood 
during tlie whole evening at the door presenting 
her smiles to the coming and parting guests, for 
the name of the young lady who had just left 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. i$ 

with tho elderly gentleman, she laughed gaily 
and said — 

" * Mon Dieu I who can know everybody. I 
know as little who he is as * 

" She silenced suddenly, for she certainly waa 
about to say ' You ' — for she saw me that even- 
ing for the first time. 

"'Perhaps your husband,' I suggested, 'can 
glvQ me some information. Where shall I look 
for him ? * 

"'Hunting at St. Germain,' replied Madame, 
with heartier laughter. 'He left this morning 
early, and will return to-morrow evening. But 
— wait — I know some one who has frequently 
conversed with the lady of whom you speak. I 
forget his name, but you can easily learn it if 
you will only inquire for the young gentleman 
who was kicked by M. Casimir Perier — I forget 
where/ 

'* Hard as it is to find a man who has been 
kicked out by a minister, I soon discovered mine, 
and begged him for some explanation of the mar- 
vellous being who so much interested me, and 
whom I depicted to him distinctly enough. 

"'Yes,* said the young man; 'I know her 
well. I have conversed with her at several 
soirees.' 

" And he repeated a lot of rubbish with which 
be had entertained the lady. What he had parti- 



76 FLORESTINE NIGHTS. 

cularlj remarked was her earnest look whenever 
he had said anything agreeable. And he mar* 
veiled not a little that she always declined Iiis 
invitation to take place in a quadrille, assuring 
him that she did not know how to dance. He ^ 
knew nothing of her name or family. Nor could 
anybody, so far as I could ascertain, give me 
any closer information in this respect. I ran 
in vain through all possible soirees seeking for 
information ; I could nowhere find Mademoiselle 
Laurence." 

" And that is the whole story ? " cried Maria, 
as she slowly turned and yawned as if sleepy. 
" That is your whole remarkable story ! And 
you never saw again either Mademoiselle Laur- 
ence, nor the mother with the drum, nor the 
dwarf Turlutu, nor the learned dog ? " 

" Lie calm and still," replied Maximilian. " I 
saw them all again — even the learned dog. But 
he was in a sad case, the poor rogue, when I met 
him in Paris. It was in the Latin Quarter. I 
came by the Sorbonne as a dog rushed from its 
gate, and after him a dozen students with sticks, 
who were soon joined by two dozen old women, who 
all screamed in chorus, ' Mad dog ! ' The wretched 
animal looked almost human in his agony of death ; 
tears ran like a stream from his eyes, and as he 
yelping rushed by me and his dimmed gaze fell 
on me, I recognised my old friend, the learned 



I FLOSBNTINE mOHTS. 77 I 

■ dog, tlie eulogist of Lord "VVelliiigLon, who once I 
caused the KugUsli people to wonder at his wis- , 
dom. Wa3 ho really mad, though 7 Had he 
overtaxed lita iut*;llect with sheer learuing while 
pursuing his studies in the Latin Quaiier ? Or 
Iiad he in the Sorhonne offended hy his scraping 
and growling dissent at the puffy-cheeked cliar- ' 
latanery of some professor, who had got rid of 
his disapproving auditor by declaring that he 
waa mad I Alaa I youth does not investigate 
carefully whether it is irritated pedantry or 
professional envy ^ which inspires the cry, ' The I 

I dog is madl' but brealcs away with thoughtless 
Bticks — and of course all the old women are 
icady with their yells and howls, and they out- 
scream the voice of innocence and of reason. 
My poor friend had to succumb — before ray eyea 
he was pitiably struck dead amid jeers and curses, 
and at last cast on a dimgliill — a wretched martyr 
[ to learning ! 

" Nor was the condition of the dwarf, Mon- | 
F Blear Turlutu, very much better when I re-dis- 
covered him ou the Boulevard du Temple. Made- 
moiselle Laurence had indeed said that he had 
gone thither, but whether I did not seriously 
attempt to seek him there, or the crowd of 
people was so great, it happened that some time 
passed before I observed the show place where 

k' Brotneid. Rivalry of bread. 



'I 

h 
1_ ° 

Vs. 



78 FLORENTINE NIQIITS. 

tho giants were found. Two tall knaves lay at 
ease on a bench, who jumped up and assumed 
the attitude of giants when I appeared. Tliey 
were really not so large as their sign boosted^ 
but only two overgiown rascals, clad in rose- 
coloured tricot, who had very black, and perhaps 
false, side-whiskers, and who swung immense 
but hollow wooden clubs over their heads. When 
I asked after the dwarf, who was also set forth 
on the sign, they replied tlmt for four weeks ho 
had been unable on account of increasing illness 
to appear in public, but that I might see him 
if I would pay an extra price of admission. How 
willingly one pays double to see an old friend ! 
Alas 1 it was a friend whom I found on his death* 
bed 1 Tliis deathbed was really a child's cradle, 
and in it lay the poor dwarf, with his sallow, 
wrinkled old man's face. A little girl of perhaps 
four years sat by him, rocking the cradle with her 
foot, and singing in a comical babbling tone — 

"* Sleep, Turlututy— slcepl* 

"As tlie little man saw me he opened his 
glazed blue eyes as wide as possible, and a 
melancholy smile twitched about his white lips ; 
he seemed to recognise me at once, for he reached 
out his dried, withered little hand, and gasped 
softly, ' Old friend 1 ' 



"It 1 



PLORSKTISB NIQHTS. 79 

1 indceil in sad, trouljlous C080 lliat I 



found the man who, wlicn eight years o( age, 
had had a long coiiversatiou with Louis XVI., 
whom the Czar Alexander had fed with honbons, 
I whom the rriiicesa of Kyritz had lield on her 
klap, to whom the King of Da\'aria had read his 
P poems, who had smoked from the same pipe witli 
German princes, whom tho Tope lind apotheo- 
Biaed, and w)ioni Nnpoleon had never loved ! 
ThiB lost fact trouhlcd the wretched man even 
on his deathhcd — I should say in hia death- 
cradle — and he wept over Llie tragic destiny of 
the great Emperor who had never loved him, 
but who had ended his life in such lamentable 
circumstances at St. Hclcua — ' Even as I now 
die,' he added, ' rejected, neglected by all kinga 
and princes, a mere mockery of former glory.' 

"Though I could not quite understand how 
a dwarf who dies among giants could compare 
himself with a giant who dies nmoiig dwarfs, still 
the words of -poor Turlutu and Iiis neglected state 
in his dying hour moved me, I couKl not refrain 
from expressing my amazement that Mademoiselle 
Laurence, who had now become so grand, did nob 
trouble lieraelf about him I had hardly men- 
tioned her name when the dwarf was seized with 
agonising cramps, and wailed with white lips, 
' Ungrateful child I She whom I brought up, 
and would have even made my wife, whom I 



H^ and would 



8a FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

taught how one shoultl move and conduct one's 
self among the great people of this world — how 
one sliould smile and how at court and act with 
elegance — thou hast turned my teaching to good 
account; uow thou art a great lady, and hast 
a carriage and lackeys, and mucli money, and no 
heart I Thou leavest me to die here alone and 
miserable, like Napoleon at St. Helena. Oh, 
Napoleon, thou didst never love me!' What 
he then said I could not understand. He rabed 
his head, made passes with hia hand, as if fencing 
with some one, and defending himself against 
some one, it may have been Death. But the 
scythe of this adversary can be resisted by none, 
he he Napoleon or a Turlutu, for with him no 
parade or guard avails ! Exhausted, as if over- 
come, the dwarf let liis head sink, gazed at me 
with an indescribable spectral glare, crowed sud- 
denly like a cock, and died ! 

" I confess that this death troubled me all the 
more because the sufferer had given me no more 
accurate information as to Mademoiselle Laurence. 
I was not in love wilh her, nor did I feel any 
specially great inclination towards her, and yet 
I was spurred by a mysterious, irresistible desu-o 
to seek her everywhere, and if I entered a salon 
and looked over those present and did not find 
her familiar face, then I became quite restless 
and felt impelled to deport. 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. Si 

"Eeflecting on this feeling I stood once at 
midnight in a side entrance of the Grand Opera, 
waiting wearily for a coach, for it rained hard. 
But no coach came, or rather coaches only which 
belonged to other people, who got in gaily enough 
and departed, until little by little I was left alone. 

" * Well, then, you must ride with me / * said a 
lady who, closely wrapped in a black mantilla, 
had also stood waiting by me for some time, and 
who was now about to enter a carnage. The 
voice thrilled through my heart ; the well-known 
side-glance exerted once more its charm ; and I 
seemed to be in a dream, when I found myself 
in a softly-padded warm carriage by Made- 
moiselle Laurence. ,We spoke no word to one 
another, perhaps we could not have understood 
if we had spoken, since that vehicle rattled with 
a fearful droning noise through the streets of 
Paris for a long time, till it at last stopped before 
a vast gateway. 

"Servants in brilliant livery lighted us up 
the steps through a suite of apartments. A 
lady's maid who with sleepy face approached us, 
stammered with many excuses that the red room 
was the only one with a fire lighted. As she 
gave the maid a sign to leave us, Laurence said 
laughing, * Cliance or luck has brought you far 
indeed to-day; my bedroom is the only one 
which is warmed '— 

F 



82 FLORENTINE NIGHTS, 

" III this bedroom, where we were soon alone, 
blazed a beautiful fire, which was the more 
agreeable because the apartment was immensely 
large and liigL This great chamber, which 
might better be called a great hall, had in it 
something strangely desolate or empty. Its 
furnitare and decoration and architecture bore 
the impress of an age whose splendour is now 
so dusty, and whose dignity seems so sober 
and sad, that its relics awaken a feeling of 
discomfort, if not a subdued smile. I speak of 
the time of the Empire, of the days of golden 
eagles, high-flying plumes, Greek coiflfures, the 
glory of grand drum-majors, military masses, 
official immortality decreed by the Moniteur, 
Continental coffee made from chicory, bad sugar 
from beetroot, and princes and dukes manufac- 
tured out of nothing at all. Yet it had its 
charm, this age of pathetic materialism. Talma 
declaimed, Gros painted, Bigottini danced, 
Grassini sang, Maury preached, Eovigo had the 
police, the Emperor read Ossian, and Pauline 
Borghese had herself modelled as Venus, and 
stark naked at that, for the room was quite 
warm, like that in which I found myself with 
Mademoiselle Laurence. 

" We sat by the fire conversing confidentially, 
and she told me sighing how she was married 
to a Buonaparte 1 oro, who every evening before 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 83 

retiring entertained her with the history of his 
adventures. A few days before liis late depar- 
ture he had given her in full the battle of Jena ; 
but he was in very bad health, and would hardly 
survive the Eussian campaign. When I asked 
how long it was since her father had departed 
this life^ she laughed, and said she had never 
known one, and that her so-called mother had 
never been married. 

" ' Not married ! ' I cried ; ' why, I myself saw 
her in London in defep mourning for her hus- 
band's death ! * 

'* * Oh ! * replied Laurence, * she wore mourning 
all the time for twelve years, to awaken compas- 
sion as a poor widow, and also to take in some 
simpleton who wanted a wife. She hoped that 
she would sail the sooner under the black flag 
into the port of matrimony. But death had pity 
on her, and she perished suddenly by bursting a 
vein. I never loved her, for she gave me many 
a beating and little food. I should have starved 
if Monsieur Turlutu had not many a time given 
me a piece of bread on the sly ; but for that the 
dwarf wanted me to marry him, and when his 
hopes were wrecked he allied himself to my 
mother — I say mother only from habit — and both 
tormented me cruelly. She was always saying 
I was a useless creature, and that the dog was 
worth a thousand times more than I with my 



$4 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

wretched dancing. Then they praised the dog 
at my expense, fed him with cakes, and threw 
me the ciumbs. "The dog," she said, "was her 
best support ; he pleased the public, which did 
not take the least interest in me ; that the dog 
must maintain me by his work, and that I lived 
on the charity and refuse of the dog. Damn the 
dog!' 

" ' Oh ! you need not curse him again,' I inter- 
rupted the angry beauty. * He is dead ; I saw 
him die' 

" ' Is the beast done for at last ? ' cried Laur- 
ence, as she sprang up with delight beaming in 
every feature. 

" * The dwarf also is dead,' I added. 

" * Monsieur Turlutu ? ' cried Laurence, also 
joyfully. But the expression faded from her 
face gradually, and with a milder, almost melan- 
choly tone, she sighed, * Poor Turlutu ! ' 

"As I did not conceal from her that the 
dwarf in his dying moments had complained of 
her bitterly, she burst into passionate protesta- 
tion that she had the fullest intention and desire 
to provide for the dwarf in the best manner, and 
that she had offered him an annual pension if he 
would live quietly and modestly, anywhere in the 
country. *But with his habitual vanity and 
desire of distinction,' continued Laurence, 'he 
desired to remain in Paris and dwell in my 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 85 

hotel, for thus he thought he could through me 
again resume his former acquaintance in the 
Faubourg Saint Germain, and his old brilliant 
place in society. And when I flatly refused this 
he called me a cursed goblin-ghost, a vampire, 
and a child of death ' 

** Laurence suddenly stopped and shuddering 
said, as she heaved a sigh from her very heart — 

" * Ah 1 I wish he had left me lying with my 
mother in the grave ! ' 

"When I prayed her to explain these mys- 
terious words, a flood of tears burst from her 
eyes, and trembling and sobbing she confessed 
that the drummer woman in mourning whom she 
called * mother ' had once told her that a strange 
rumour current as to her birth was not a mere 
fable. *For in the town where we dwelt,' 
continued Laurence, *I was always called the 
Death Child. Old women said I was really 
the daughter of a Count of that place, who mal- 
treated his wife terribly, and when she died 
gave her a magnificent funeral. But she was 
far gone with child, and not really dead. Cer- 
tain thieves, tempted by the richness of her 
funeral attire, burst open the tomb and took out 
the Countess, whom they found in the pangs 
of parturition. She died while giving birth to 
Laurence. The thieves laid her body again in 
the tomb, closed it, and carried the babe to the 



86 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

receiver of their stolen goods, who was the wife 
of the great ventriloquist. 

" ' This poor child, who was buried before she 
was bom,^ was everywhere called the Death- 
Child. Ah ! you cannot know how much misery 
I had even as a little girl, when people called me 
by this name. While the great ventriloquist 
was alive, and when he was discontented with 
me — as often happened — he always cried : 
" Cursed Death-Child, I wish I had never taken 
you from the grava" As he was of great skill 
in his calling, he could so modulate his voice as 
to make any one think that it came from the 
ground, and so he would make me believe that 
it was the voice of my dead mother who related 
her story. He knew the terrible tale well 
enough, for he had once been a servant of the 
Count my father. It was his greatest pleasure 
to torture me with the awful terror which I, a 
mere infant, felt at hearing this. The words 
which came in spectral tones from the ground 
told things so dreadful that I could not alto- 

^ Heine here very oddly, and certainly quite unconsciously, 
repeats a line from an old English riddle on Eve— 

*' In the garden there strayed 

A beautiful maid, 
As fair as the flowers of the mom ; 

The first hour of her life 

She was made a wife, 
And teas lyuried hefore she tww horn.** 



FLORENTINB NIGHTS. 87 

gether understand them, but all of which, w heu 
I danced in after years, came vividly back into 
my mind.^ At such a time strange memories 
seemed to possess me. I forgot myself, and 
was another person tormented with all terrors 
and mysteries, but so soon as I ceased to dauca 
all vanished from my mind.' 

" While Mademoiselle Laurence spoke, slowly 
and as if questioning, she stood before me by 
the fireplace, where the fire gleamed ever more 
and more agreeably, and I sat in the great arm- 
chair, which was probably the seat of her husband 
when he of evenings related his battles before 
going to bed. Laurence looked at me with her 
great eyes, as if asking me for counsel, nodding 
her head in so mournfully reflective a manner that 
she inspired in me ^ deep sympathy. She was 
so delicate, so young, so beautiful, this slender 
lily sprung from the grave^ this daughter of 

^ Should this seem incredible to any reader, I would state 
that when I was a child not three years old, still suffering 
^•erjribly from the results of a nervous fever, a very pious old 
lady was in the habit of frightening me in a manner every whit 
as cruel as that described by Laurence, and very much like it. 
Having made me believe that a " bugaboo " lived in a certain 
closet, she would dress herself up in a horrible fashion, come out 
of the closet, and approach me growling. I have often wondered 
(that I survived the awful terrors of this discipline, which, by 
(the way, was common enough in nurseries at that time. Heine 
forgets to mention that such torturing children was usual whea 
UiG supernatural was in fashion. 



c 



SS FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

death, this ghost with the face of an angel and 
the body of a bayadere 1 

"I know not how it happened — perhaps it 
was the influence of the arm-chair in which I 
sat ; but all at once it seemed to me as if I were 
the old general who the day before had been 
narrating the battle of Jena^ and must continue 
my story, so I said — 

"* Alter the battle of Jena, within a few 
weeks, all the Prussian fortresses surrendered 
almost without a blow. First of these was 
Miigdeburg,^ the strongest of all, and it had three 
hundred cannons. Was not that disgraceful ? * 

"Mademoiselle Laurence let me proceed no 
further. All melancholy had fled from her 
beautiful face. She laughed like a child and 
said, * Yes ; that was disgraceful, and more than 
disgraceful. If / were a fortress, and had three 
hundred cannon, I would never surrender.' 

" But as Mademoiselle Laurence was no for- 
tress, and had no three hundred cannons" 

Here Ma^^imilian suddenly paused, and after a 
short pause asked softly — 

'• Maria, are you asleep ? " 

" Yfss, I sleep," replied Maria. 

• • • • • f f 

** I would say," added Maximilian, "that I sat 
by \\iQ lire in a red light, and it seemed to me as 

* Magdeburg means the virgin fortresg. — Translatat^, 



FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 89 

if I were the god Pluto amid the glowing flames of 
hell, holding the sleeping Proserpine in hia arms. 
:She slept, and I studied her charming face, and 
lought in its traits some explnnation of that 
■ympathy which my soul felt for her. What 
(ras the meaning of this woman I Wiiat signifi- 
cance lurked under the symbolism of this hcauti- 
fal form 7 I held this winsome riddle now as 
T possession in my arms, yet could not discover 
its solution. 

" Yet, is it not fully to enJeavour to penetrate 
the inner meaning of a strange appearance or 
|)lienomenon when we cannot as much as solve 
the prohlems of our own souls ? Why, we are 
not even certain that these outer apparitions really 
txist. Many a time we cannot distinguish reality 
[rora faces seen in our dreams. Was it an image 

' my iioaginatioD, or was it a terrible reality, 

which I that night heard and saw ? I do not 

. I can only remember that while the 

wildest thoughts streamed through my heart, a 
rustling, ringing noise sounded in my ears. 
It was a crazy melody, singularly slow. It 
leemed to be very familiar, and at last I recog- 
l in it the sound of a triangle and a drum. 

liis music, tinkling and buzzing, seemed to 
ipproach from afar, and at last when I looked up 
t saw near me, in the centre of the room, a well- 
known show, for it was Monsieur Turlulu, the 



dwarf, who played llie trianglu, and Madame 
Mfcre, who bent the great drum, while the learned 
dog scratched round on tho ground as if seeking 
for his wooden letters. Tlie dog seemed to niova 
with pain, and his hair was spotted with blood. 
Madame M6re still wore her black mourning, but 
she had no longer lier old plump, comical figure, 
nnd her face was not now red but pale. The 
dwnrf, who still wore the embroidered coat of an 
old French marquis, with a powdered wig, seemed 
to ba somewhat taller, probably because he had 
become so fearfully thin. He displayed as h&- 
furo his skill in fencing, and seemed to be wheea- 
ing out his old boasts, but spoke so softly that I 
could not catch a word, and it was only by the 
movements of bis lips that I could often observe 
that he was crowing like a cock. 

" While thcEo laughably horrible distorted 
imngea moved before my oyes with unseeniing 
haste, I percoived that Laurence breathed more 
restlessly. A cold shudder ran like frost through 
all her body, and her beautiful hmbs twitched 
convulsively, as if with intolerable pain. But 
at last, supple as an eel, she slid and slipppfl 
from my arms, stood in a second in the centre 
of tlie room, and began to dance, while the 
mother with the drum and the dwarf with the 
triangle again raised their softly muflled music, 
She danced as she had done on the Waterloo 



FLORENTTNE NIGHTS. 

Bridge and on the crossings of London. Th( 
was the same mysterioua pantomime, the samo 
passionate leaps, the samo Bacchic casting 
back of the head, many times the same bemliiig 
down to the earth, as if listening to what was 
being said below, then the old trembling, the 
growing pale, the frozen stillness, and yet again 
the listening with the ear inclined. And she 
also rnbbed her hands as if washing them. At 
last she seemed to again cast her deep, painful, 
imploring glance at me, but it was only in tire 
features of her deathly pale face that I recog- 
nised the glance, not in her eyes, for they were 
closed. The music sounded ever softer, tlio 
drum-mother and the dwarf growing paler, dim- 
mer, and whirling away like miat, at last dis- 
appeared altogether, but Laurence remained 
before, dancing with closed eyes. This dancinj 
as if blind, in the silent room by night, gan 
the beautiful creature such a ghostly air that 
often shuddered, and was heartily glad when she 
ceased to dance, aud glided and slipped, as softly 
as she had fiown away, bade into my arms. 

■' Certainly the sight of this scene was not 
agrecal.'le. But man accustoms himself to every- 
thing, and it is possible that the unearthly mys- 
tery of this woman gave her a peculiar charm, 
which mingled with my feelings a terrible tender- 
ness — enough that in a few weeks I was no_ 



in- 



3 



92 FLORENTINE NIGHTS. 

longer amazed in the least when by night I 
heard the ring of the drum and triangle, and my 
dear Laurence suddenly leaped up and danced 
a solo with closed eyes. Her husband, the old 
Buonapartist, commanded near Paris, and his 
duties allowed him to pass only his days in the 
city. As a matter of course he became my most 
intimate friend, and he wept bright tears when 
the day came for him to bid me for a long time 
adieu. He travelled with his wife to Sicily, and 
I have never seen either of them since." 

As Maximilian finished this story he quickly 
took his hat and slipped out of the room. 



FROM THE MEMOIRS OF HERR VON 
SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 



-H- 



CHAPTER /. 

My father was named Schnabelewopski, my 
mother Sclmabelewopska. I was born as legiti- 
mate son of both, the ist of April 179S, in 
Schnabelewops. My great aunt, the old lady 
von Fipitzka, nursed me as a child, and told me 
pretty tales, and often sang me to sleep with a 
song of which I have forgotten both the words 
and tune; but I can never forget the strange, 
mysterious way in which she nodded as she 
sang, and how mournfully her only tooth, the 
solitary hermit of her mouth, peeped out. And 
I can remember, too, much about the parrot, 
whose death she so bitterly bewailed. My old 
great aunt is dead now herself, and I am the 
only one in the world who still thinks of her 
parrot. Our cat was called Mimi, and our dog 

Jolt He had a great knowledge of human 

93 



94 FROM THE MEMOIRS OP 

nature, and always got out of the way when I 
took down my whip. One morning our servant 
said that the dog kept his tail rather close be- 
tween his legs and let his tongue hang out much 
more than usual, for which reason poor Joli was 
thrown, with some stones which were tied to his 
neck, into the water ; on which occasion he was 
drowned. Our footman was called Prrschtz- 
ztwitsch. To pronounce this name properly one 
must sneeze at the same time. Our maid was 
called Swurtszska, which indeed sounds rather 
roughly in German, but which is musical to the 
last degree in Polish. She was a stout, low- 
built person, with white hair and blonde teeth. 
Besides these there was a pair of beautiful black 
eyes running about the house, which were called 
Seraphina. This was my beautiful, beloved 
cousin, and we played together in the garden, 
and watched the housekeeping of the ants, and 
caught butterflies and planted flowers. She 
laughed once like mad when I planted my little 
stockings in the earth, believing that they would 
grow up into a great pair of breeches for papa. 

My father was the best soul in the world, and 
was long regarded as a very handsome man. He 
wore powdered hair, and behind a neatly braided 
little queue, which did not hang down, but was 
fastened with a little tortoise-shell comb to one 
side. His hands were of a dazzling whiteness,. 



UERR von SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 



9S 



I 



find I often kissed them. It seems as If I coulj 
Btill smell tlieir sweet peifumej which made my 
eyes tingle. I loved my father dearly, and it 
never came into my mind tliat he could ever die. 

My paternal grandfather was tlie old llerr vou 
Schnabelewopski, and all I know of hitii )3 that 
he was a man, and my father was his son. My 
maternal grandfathur was the old HeiT von 
Wlrssrnski (sneeze again to pronounce tliis nnma 
correctly), and he ia painted in a scarlet vulvet 
coat, witli a long sword, and my niotliur often 
told mc that he had a friend who wore a grceu 
silk coat, rose-silk breeches, and white silk stock- 
ings, who swung his little ehapeaLt-bns here and 
there in a rage when he spoke of the King of 
Prussia. 

My mother, Lady von Schnabelewopslca, gave 
me as I grew up a good education. She had 
read much: before my birth she read Plntaieh 
almost exclusively, and was probably deeply im- 
pressed by one of his great men, perhaps one of 
the Gracchi. Hence my mystical yearning to 
realise the agrarian law in a modern form. My 
deep sympathy for freedom and equality is pro- 
bably due to these maternal pre-lectures. Had 
she read the life of Cartouche I had possibly be- 
come a great banker.' How often as a boy did 

9 Trenoh thief whoae life has lung 



1 



96 FROM TUB MEMOIRS OF 

I play truaot from school to reflect on ihe lieautU 
ful meadows of Sclmaljelewopska liow to benefit 
all mankiui.!. For this I was often well scolded 
and punisheJ as an idler, and so Lad to suffer with 
grief and pain tor my schemes for hencfiting the 
world. The neighhuurhood of Schnabclewops 
is, I may mention, very beautiful. Tlieie is a 
little river running there in which one can bathe 
in the summer-time very agreeably, and there are 
the moat delightful hirda' nests in the copses 
along the banks. Old Gnesen, the former 
capital of Poland, is only three miles distant. 
'J'bere, in the cathedral. Saint Adalbert is buried. 
'J'iiere is his silver sarcophagus, on which lies hia 
very image, the size of life, with bishop's mitre 
and crosier, the hands piouily folded— and all of 
molten silver I How often have I thought of 
tbee, thou silver saint! Ah, how often my 
thoughts go back to Poland, and I stand once 
more in the cathedral of Gnesen, leaning on the 
column by the grave of Adalbert! Then the 
organ peals once more, as if the organist were 
trying a piece from AUegri's Miserere ; a mass 
is being murmured in a distant chapel, the last 
lays of the sun shine through the many-coloured 
glass windows, the church is empty, only there 
lies before the silver shrine a praying figure — a 
woman of wondrous beauty — who casts at me n 
sudden side glance, which she turns as suddenly 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKL 97 

again towards the saint, and murmurs with 
yearning, cunning lips, " I pray to thee ! " 

In the instant in which I lieard those words, 
the sacristan rang his bell in the distance, the 
organ pealed as with extreme haste like a rising 
tide, the beautiful woman rose from the steps 
of the altar, cast her veil over her blushing face, 
and left the cathedral. 

" I pray to thee ! " Were these words ad- 
dressed to me or to the silver Adalbert ? Truly 
ghe had turned to him, but only her face. What 
was the meaning of that side-glance which she 
first threw at me, whose rays flashed over my 
soul like a long ray of light which the moon 
pours over a midnight sea when it breaks from 
a dark cloud, and in an instant is seen no more ? 
In my soul, which was dark as such a sea, that 
gleam of light woke all the wild forms which 
lurk in the abyss, and the maddest sharks and 
sword-fish of passion darted upward and tumbled 
together, and bit one another in the tails for 
ecstasy, and over it all the Organ roared and 
stormed more terribly, like a great tempest on 
the Northern Sea. 

The next day I left Poland. 



98 FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 



CHAPTER II. 

My mother packed my trunk herself. With every 
shirt she put in a bit of moral ndvice. In after 
times the washerwomen got away with all my 
shirts, and morals too. My father was deeply 
moved, and gave me a long slip of paper, on 
which he had written out, precept by precept, 
how I was to behave in the world. The first 
article announced that I was to turn every ducat 
ten times before I spent it. I followed this 
advice at first ; after a while the constant turning 
became tiresome. With every item of advice 
I received a ducat Tiien he took scissors, cut 
the queue from his dear head, and gave it to 
nie for a souvenir. I have it yet, and never 
fail to weep when I see the powdered delicate 
hair. 

The night before I left I had the following 
dream : — 

I wandered alone in a cheerful, beautiful 
place by the sea-side. It was noon, and the sun 
shone on the water, which sparkled like diamonds. 
Here and there ou the beach grew a great aloe, 
which lifted its green arms, as if imploring, to 
the sunny heaven. There stood a weeping 
willow with its long hanging tresses, which rose 
and fell as the waves came playing up, so that 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 99 

it looked like a young water-spirit letting down 
her green locks, or raising them to hear the 
better what the wooing sprites of the air were 
whispering to her. And, indeed, it often sounded 
like sighs and tender murmurs. The sea gleamed 
more beautifully and tenderly, the waves rang 
more musically, and on tlte rustling, glittering 
waves rose the holy Adalbert, as I had seen him 
in the Gnesen Cathedral, with the silver crosier 
in his silver hand, the silver mitre on his silver 
head, and he beckoned to me with his hand, 
and nodded to me with his head, and at last, 
as he stood before me, he cried with an unearthly 

silver voice 

Yes ; but I could not hear the words for the 
rustling of the waves. I believe, however, that 
my silver rival mocked me, for I stood a long 
time on the strand, and wept till the twilight 
came, and heaven and earth became sad and 
pale, and mournful beyond all measure. Then 
the flood rose — aloe and willow cracked and were 
wafted away by the waves, which ran back 
many times in haste, and came bursting up ever 
more wildly, rolling and embracing terribly in 
snow-white half rings. But then I began to 
perceive a noise in measured time, like the beat 
of oars, and there came a boat driven along by 
the waves. In it sat four white forms, with 
sallow, corpse faces, wrapped in shrcuds, rowing 



100 FROM THE MEMOIRS OP 

with energy. In the midst stood a pale but 
infinitely beautiful woman, infinitely lovely and 
delicate, as if made from lily-perfume, and she 
sprang ashore. The boat with its spectral row^ 
men shot like an arrow back into the rising 
sea, and in my arms lay Panna Jadviga, who 
wept and laughed, " I pray to thee I " ^ 



CHAPTER III. 

My first flight after leaving Schnabelewops was 
towards Germany, and, indeed, to Hamburg, 
where I remained six months, instead of going 
directly to Leyden and applying myself, as my 
parents wished, to the study of theology. I must 
confess that during that half-year I was much 
more occupied with worldly than with heavenly 
affairs. 

Hamburg is a good city, all of solid, respectable 
houses. It is not the infamous Macbeth who 
governs here, but Banko.^ The spirit of Banko 
rules and pervades this little free city, whose 

^ The unexpected ending of this chapter referring to a beauti- 
ful woman and death, in a mysterious, uncanny manner, is a tour 
deforce which Heine employs several times in the Reisebilder. — 
Translator, 

2 Of course Banquo. Pun on bank. 



I 

i 



HERS von SCtiNABBLSWOPSKI. loi 

viaiUlfl head is a high and well-wise Senate.' In 
fact it ia a free state, and we titid in it the 
greatest political freedoia The citizens can do 
what they please, and the high and well-wise 
Senate acts as it likes. Every one is lord of his 
own deeds — it is a true republic. If Lafayette 
had not hoen so fortunate as to fijid Luais 
Philippe he would certainly have recommended 
the Senate and supervisors of Hamhurg to hia 
French fellow-citizens. Hamburi,' ia the hest 
republic. Its manners are Eui^lish, and its 
cookery is heavenly.* There are, in sober truth, 
between the Waudrahmen and the Dreckwall, 
dishes to be found of which our philosophers have 
no conception, The Hiimburgers are good people 
who enjoy good eating. They are much divided 
as regards religion, politics, and science, but tiiey 
are all beautifully agreed as to cooking, Tljeir 
theologians may quarrel as much as they like over 
the Lord's Supper,* but there is no difference as 
to the daily dinner. Though there be among the 
Jews there one division who give grace or the 
prayer at table in German, while others chant it 

' £ia hoch uad -icolUieeiter Saiat. A formal eiprelaiaa oFten 
Bpplied officially to such badiee. 

' Seine Siliea lind Engliach, «nd eein Eiten Ut kimmtiiA, 
EjylUeh bas the doublB mEaQing af Euglish and sagelio. Non 
Angli ltd An^eti. 

' AbendmahL Literall; evening or eve-meal ; from Pom* 



I02 FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 

in Hebrew, they both eat heartily and agree 
heartily as to what is on the table, and judge ita 
merits with unfailing wisdom. The lawyers, the 
turnspits of the law, who turn and twist it till at 
last they get a roast for themselves, may dispute 
as to whether feeing and pleading shall be publicly 
conducted or not, but they are all one as to the 
merits of feeding, and every one of them has his 
own favourite disk The army is naturally of Spar- 
tan bravery, but it will not hear of black broth. 
The physicians vary much in treating disorders, 
and cure the national illness — indigestion — as 
Brownists, by giving still greater helpings of dried 
beef; or, as homeopathists, by administering 
10,000^^ of a drop of absinthe in a great tureen of 
mock-turtle soup — but all practise alike when it 
comes to discussing the soup and the smoked 
beef themselves. Of this last dish Hamburg is 
the paternal city, and boasts of it as Mainz 
boasts of John Faust, or Eisleben of Martin 
Luther. But what is the art of printing or the 
Eeformation compared to smoked beef! There 
are two parties in Germany who are at variance 
as to whether the latter have done good or harm, 
but the most zealous Jesuits are united in de- 
claring that smoked beef is a good invention, 
wholesome for humanity.^ 

* Rauchjteisck, t.^., smoked meat, generally or always the 
hun beef known in the United States as smoked, or, mure 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 105 

Hamburg was founded by Charles the Great, 
and is iuhabited by eighty thousand small people, 
none of whom would change with the great man 
who now lies buried in Aix la Chapelle. The popu- 
lation of the city may amount to one hundred 
thousand, I am not quite sure, though I walked 
whole days in its streets to look at the peojile. 
It is very possible that many men escaped my 
attention, as I was particularly occupied with 
looking at the women. The latter I found were 
by no means lean ; on the contraiy, they were 
generally corpulent, and now and then charmingly 
beautiful — on the whole, of a flourishing, sensuous 
quality, which, by Venus ! did not displease me. 
If they do not manifest much wild and dreamy 
idealism in romantic love, and have little con- 
ception of the grand passion of the heart, it is 
not so much their fault as that of Cupid, who 
often aims at them his sharpest arrows, but from 
mischief or unskilfulness shoots too low, and in- 
stead of the heart hits them in the stomach. 
As for the men, I saw among them mostly short 
figures, calmly reasoning cold glances, low fore- 
heads, carelessly heavy hanging red cheeks, tlie 
eating apparatus being remarkably well devel- 
oped, the hat as if nailed to the head, and the 
hands in both breeches' pockets, as though their 

^inmonlj, dried beef ; in Cuba as Uuajo ; in Mexico, ckat^uL 
It is also a standing dish at all suppers in Holland. 



FROM THB MEMOIRS OF 

owner would say, " Uow luucli must I pay, 
then ? " 

Among the lions of Hamburg we find — 

1 . The old Council House, or Town Hall, where 
the great Hamburg bankers are chiselled out of 
Btoue, and stand counterfeited with sceptres and 
globes of emiiire in their hnnds. 

2. The Exchange, where the sons of Hammonia 
assemble every day, as did the Roniaus of old in 
the Forum, and wliere there hangs overhead a 
black tablet of honour, with the names of distin- 
guished fellow-citizens.* 

3. The Beautiful Marianne, an extremely 
handsome woman, on whom the tooth of Time 
has gnawed for twenty years. By the way, " tooth 
of time " is a bad metaphor, for Time is so old 
that by this time he cannot have a tootJi left, 
wiiilo Marianne has all of hers, and hair on 
them at that. 

4. That wJiich was once the Central 
TreaBury. 

5. Altona. 

6. The original manuscripts of Marr'a 
Tragedies. 

7. The owner of the Eiiding Museum. 

8. The Borseuhalle or Stock Exchange. 

' A satirical refEreni^e to a black-board liting in the Excbunge, 
bearing the itamei u( fraudulent or obacuDduig memberB uf tli« 



1 



J 



HEAR VON SCHNABBLBWOPSKl. 



los 



9. The Bacchus Hall. 
10. And, finally, the City Theatre. 

This laat deserves to be specially praised. Its 
I nembei's are all good citizens, honourable fatbers 
of families, who never let themaelvea be substi- 
tuted or disguised,' and never act so as to deceive 
anybody for an instant — men who make of the 
theatre a church, since they convince the un- 
happy man wl:o has lost faitb in humanity, in 
the most actual manner possible, that all things 
in this world are not delusion and a counterreit.'' 
In enumerating the remarkable things in Ham- 
burg, I aiTinot refrain from mentioning that in 
my time the Hall of Apollo, on the Drehbiibn, 
was a very brilliant place. Now it lias very 
much come down, and philharmonic concerts, 
and shows by professors of legerdemain, are 
there given, and professors of natural history 
are fed. Once it was different. The trumpets 
pealed, the drums rattled and rolled loudly, 
ostrich feathers fluttered, and Heloiae and Minka 
ran the races of the Oyinski polonaise, and 
everything was so perfectly respectable I 
time it was for me when fortune smiled. And 
this /orlune was called Heloise. She was a 
charming, loving, pleasure-giving treasure, with 

' Vcnldlm. Tonrisplao 
* B<r >11 this Hdne siinpl 
I bytheai 




io6 FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 

rosy lips, a little lily nosc> warm, perfumed 
cnrnation lips, and eyes like blue mountain 
lakes, albeit there was something of stupidity 
on her brow, which hung tlierc like a gloomy 
cloud over a brilliant spring landscape. She was 
slender as a poplar, lively as a dove, with a skin 
delicate as an infant's. Sweet time when Fortune 
ever smiled on me! Minka did not laugh so 
much, not having such beautiful teeth ; but her 
tears were all the lovelier when she wept, wliich 
she did on all occasions for suflering humanity ; 
and she was benevolent beyond belief. She gave 
the poor her last penny — yes, for charity's sake, 
I have known her to be reduced to the last shift. 
She was so good that she refused nothing to any- 
body, save ihat which was indeed beyond her 
' gift. This soft and yielding character contrasted 
charmingly with her personal appearance, which 
was that of a brave Juno— a bold, white neck, 
shaded by wild black ringlets, like voluptuous 
snakes ; eyes which flashed forth as if ruling the 
world from under glooming arches of victory ; 
purple, proud, high-curving lips; marble white 
commanding hands, somewhat freckled ; and she 
had on her right side a mother-mark in the form 
of a small dagger. 

If I have brought you into so-called bad 
company, dear reader, console yourself with the 
reflection that it does not cost you so much as it 



HERR VON SCHNADELEWOPSKI. 107 

did me. However, there will be no want, further 
on in this book, of ideal women — and just here I 
will give you a specimen, just to cheer you up, 
of two highly decent dames, whom I learned in 
those days to know and honour. These were 
Mrs. Pieper and Mrs. Schnieper. The first was 
a handsome woman in full maturity, with great 
blackish eyes, a great white forehead, false black 
hair, a bold, old Eoman nose, and a mouth which 
was a guillotine for every good name. Indeed 
there could be no contrivance equal to that mouth 
for the speedy execution and death of a reputa- 
tion. There was no prolonged struggle, no long- 
delayed preparation, if the best of characters 
once got between her teeth she smiled, but 
that smile was the fall of the axe, and honour 
was decapitated and the liead rolled into the 
lag. She was always a pattern of propriety, 
honour, piety, and virtue. The same may be 
said in celebration of Mrs. Schnieper. She 
was a tender woman, with a little anxious 
bosom, generally curtained with a mournful thin 
gauze or crape, light blonde hair, and clear 
blue eyes, which gleamed in a frightfully crafty 
manner out of her white face. People said 
you could never hear her footfall, and indeed 
ere you knew it she often stood close by, and 
then .vanished as silently as she came. Her 
smile, too, was death to any decent reputation. 



IcS FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 

liut less like the fall o! an bxb than tlie poiaott 
wind of Africa, before whose breath all flowers 
perish ; so iu the breath of tiiis woman's voice 
every good name perisbed miserably as she smiled. 
Also a pattern of piety, propriety, honour, and 
virtue. 

I siiall not fail to exalt many of the Eons of 
H ammo nia, nor to praise in the highest certain men 
who are grandly esteemed — vlddicct, those who 
are rated at several million marks banco — but 
just at presunt I will subdue my enthusiasm, 
lliat it may after a time flame up all the higher. 
For 1 have nothing less in my mind than to raise 
11 temple of honour to Hamburg, according to the 
same plan wliich was sketched out some ten 
years ago by a celebrated man of letters, who 
with this intention requested every Hamburger 
to send him a specified inventory of ids virtues 
and talents^ — ^with one dollar, specie — as soon as 
possible. I have never exactly understood why 
this temple of honour never appeared.' Some 

' This Innd of miserable »wiadlB is still oomTDon in tha tJnitod 
States. I bare more than onoe leceired letters from unknown 
Uiun, who informed me that they were preparing a voluma o( 
Hketchea, or Lives of Diatingnisbed Arnericans, asking me lo 
Bend It memoir of mjeelf, and especially m; photograph, and 
fifty dollar* to pay for engraving it. An ejiamiontion of the 
lilt of those who were to appear in the vork convinced me that 
"ft diatinguiahed American " meant any man living who waa 
poBsessed of fifly dollare, and was willing to pay it to tbi pat^ 
lisher. — Tnin^atoT. 



A 



II ERR VON SCHNADELEWOPSKI. 109 

say that the undertaker, or the man of honour 
who kept the temple, had hardly printed from A 
— Aaaron to Abendroth — and only got in his first 
quoins, before he broke down under the weight 
of copy or biography sent in ; others say that tlie 
high and well-wise Senate, moved by excess of 
modesty, prevented the project altogether, since 
they requested this architect of his own temple of 
honour to be out of Hamburg with all his virtues 
within four-and-twenty hours. Anyhow, from 
some cause or other, the work was never com- 
pleted ; and as I have an inborn yearning to do 
something great in this world, and have ever striven 
after the impossible, therefore I have revived this 
vast project, and will myself manufacture a great 
temple of honour to Hamburg, an immortal and 
colossal hook, in which I will describe with- 
out exception all its inhabitants — wherein shall 
appear noble traits of secret charity which were 
never mentioned in a newspaper, traits of such 
grandeur that nobody will believe a word of 
them, to be preceded by a magnificent portrait 
of myself, as I appear when I sit in the Jung- 
fernstieg before the Swiss Pavilion, and muse over 
the magnificence of Hamburg. This will be the 
vignette of my immortal work. 



ilo FROM THE MEMOIRS OP 



CHAPTER IV. 

For readers who do not know Hamburg — ^there 
are such, I suppose, in China or Upper Bavaria — 
I must remark that the most beautiful promenade 
of the sons and daughters of Hammonia bears the 
appropriate name of Jungfernstieg,^ and that it 
consists of an avenue of lime-trees, which is 
bounded on one side by a row of houses, and on 
the other by the Alster Basin, and that before the 
latter, and built out into the water, are two tent- 
like pleasant cafes, called pavilions. It is nice to 
sit, especially before one called the Swiss Pavilion, 
of a summer day, when the afternoon sun is not 
too hot, but only smiles gaily and pours its rays as 
in a fairy dream over the lindens, the houses, the 
people, the Alster, and the swans, who cradle 
themselves in it. Yes, it is nice to sit there ; 
and even so I sat on many a summer afternoon 
and thought, as a young man generally does, 
that is to say, about nothing at all, and looked 
at what a young man generally looks at, that is, 
the girls — yes, there they fluttered along, the 
charming things, with their winged caps, and 
covered baskets, containing nothing ; there they 
tripped, the gay Vierlander maids, who provide all 

* Jungftrnstieff. The Maidens* or Virgins* Walk. 




I 



HERR VON SCfINABELE\VOP:>HI. ur 

Hamburg wiih strawberries and their omu milk, 
and whose petticoats are still iimch too long; 
ihere swept proudly along the beautiful mer- 
cbants' daugiiters, with whose love one gets just 
so much ready uiouey ; there skipped a nui-aa 
bearing <m her arm a rosy boy, whom she con- 
Btantly kissed while thinking of her lover; thera 
wandered too the priestesstja of Veniis Aphrodite, 
Hanseatio vestals, Dianas on the hunt. Naiads, 
Prynd.^, Hamydryads, and similar clergymen's 
daughters; and ah! there with tiiem Minka and 
Heloise I How oft 1 sat in that pavilion fair and 
saw lier wandering past in lose-striped gown — 
it cost four shillings and ihreepence a yard, and 
Mr. Seligmnnn gave nio his word that even 
though washed, and that full many times, the 
colour would not fade. "A'Vh:it glorious giida !" 
exclaimed the virtuons youths who sat by me. 
I remember how a great insurance agent, who 
was always bedecked like a carnival ox, said, 
"I'd like to have one of them for breakfast, and 
the other for supper, just at will, and I don'c 
think I should want any dinner tliat day." " She 
is an angel 1 " cried a sea-captain, so loudly that 
both the damsels at a glance looked jealously at 
one another. I myself said nothing, and thought 
my sweetest nothings, and looked at the girls and 
the pleasant gentle sky, and the tall Petri tower 
with its slender waist, and the calm blue Alster, 



^m with its sle 



Ill FROM THE MEMOIRS OP 

on whidi the swans swam so proud, and bsaubiful, 
and secure. The swans! I could look at them 

for hours — the lovely creatures, with their soft, 
long uecks, as they so voluptuously cradled them- 
selves on the sofL flood, diving ever and anon, 
and proudly sphshing till the heaven grew dark 
and the golden stars came forth yearning, hope- 
giving, wondrously and heautifully tender and 
transformed. The stars ! Are they golden 
flowers OD the bridal bosom of heaven ? Are 
they the eyes of enamoured angels, who with 
yearning mirror themselves in the blue streams 
of earth below and rival with the swans ? 

Ahl that is all long, lung ago. Then I was 
young and foolish. Now I am old and foolish, 
Jlatiy a flower has withered since that time, 
and many too heen trodden into earth ; even 
tlie rose-striped stufl' of Seligmatia has lost the 
colour warranted to wash. He has faded him- 
self; the firm is now Seligmann's late widow.' 
And Heloise, the gentle creature who seemed to 
be made to walk only on soft Indian flowered 
carpets and be fanned with peacock's feathers, 
went down among roaring sailors, punch, tubacco- 
Binoke, and bad music. When I again saw 
Minka she had changed her name to Hatinka, 
and dwelt between Hamburg and Altona j she 




HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 113 

Ploobed like tlio temple of Solotnoii after it had 
been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, and aiuelt of 
Assyrian Kanaster; and as she told of Heloiae's 
death, she wept bitterly and tore her hair in de- 
spair, and fainted quite away ; nor did she recover 
till she had swallowed a great g>ass of spirita. 

And how the town itself was changed 1 Aad 
the Jungfeniatieg! Snow lay on the roofs, and 
it seemed as if the houses had grown old and had 
white hair, The lime trees of the Jungfernstieg 
were dead trees and dry boughs, which waved 
ghost-like in the cold wind. The sky was cut- 
ling blue, and soon grew dark, It was five 
o'clock on Sunday — the general hour for fodder- 
ing — and the can'iages rolled along. Gentlemen 
and ladies descended from them with frozen 
smiles upon their hungry lips. How horrible! 
At that instant I was thrilled with the awful 
thought that an unfathomable idiocy appeared in 
all these faces, and that all persons who passed 
by seemed hewildered in a strange delirium. 
Twelve years before, at the same hour, 1 liad 
seen tliera with the same faces, like the puppets 
of a town-hall clock, with the same gestures ; and 
since then they had gone on in the same old way, 
reckoning and going on 'Change and assisting one 
another, and moving their jawbones, and paying 
u their pourboires, and counting up again : twice 
^^1 two is four. Horrible! I cried. Suppose that 

L 



m FROM THE UEUOIRS OF 

it should suddenly occur to oiiu of tLese people 
while he sat on tbe ofUce stool Chat twice two U 
five I and Ihat be consequently has been mul- 
tiplying viougly nil Lis life, and so wasted tbut 
life in an awful error. All at ouce a fooliali 
delirium SL'izcd nie, and, as I regarded the passers- 
by more nearly, it seemed to me aa if ihey were 
llicmsclvi's nothing but ciphers or Arabic numer- 
als. Theie went a crook-footed Two by a fatal 
Three, his full-boaomed, enceinte spouse ; behind 
them came Mr. Four on crutches, waddling along 
came a fatal Five, then with round bully and a 
little hood a well-kiiowu little Six, and the stiil 
better known Evil Seven ; but as I looked more 
closely at the wretched Eiglit as it tottured past I 
recognised in it the insurance agent who once went 
ndorned like a carnival ox, but who now looked 
like the leanest of Pharoah's lean kine — pale, 
hollow cheeks, like an empty soup-plate; a cold, 
red nose, like a winter rose ; a shabby black coat, 
ivhich had a pitiful white shine ; a hat inio which 
Satuin with the scythe had cut air-lioles ; but his 
boots polished like looking-glasses, and Ijo no 
longer seemed to think about devouring Heloise 
and Minka for breakfast and suppei', but to be 
lunging very much more for a good dinner o! 
common beef. And I recoguised many on old 
friend among the mere ciphers who rolled along.* 
' Thin cnncQit iiF repreaeoting a pmtwB«Dn nf humaa belngi 
Ki> iiuiiiiTflls liad been prcviuuslr iniire [ulty n'orlied uat, if I am 



J 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI. ii; 

these and the rest of the numerical folk drove 
y hurried and hungry, while more grimly droll a 
nueral passed not far oS) past the houses of the 
Inugfernstieg. As a melancholy, mftsquerading 
tfaow there walked on after the hearse, stilted on 
iheir little, thin, black silk iega, the well-known 
Bouncil-servants, the privileged civic mourners, in 
X parodied old Burgundian costume, short black 
Sloaks and black plumped brepches, white wigs, 
Bid cravats, out of which the red mercenary faces 
itarcd comically, short steel rapiers on their hips, 
^itli green umbrellas on their arms. 

But more uncanny and bewildering than these 
Bf;ures which went silently by were the sounds 
ffliich rang in my ears from the other side. They 
iFcre shrill, harsh, creaking, metallic tones, a 
razy screeching, a painful splashing and despair- 
bg gulping, a gasping and tumbling, and groan- 
I and wailing bitterly — an indescribalile ice- 
»ld cry of pain. The basin of the Alster was 
1 up, only that near the shore was a large 
square cut in the ice, and the terrible tones which 
[ had heard came from the windpipes of the poor 
iFhite creatures which swam round in it, and 
iCreeched in horrible agony; and oh, they were 
she same swans who once had cheered my heart 
J softly and merrily. Ah ! the beautiful white 



FROM THE UEliOIRS OF 

ewans ! Their wings liad beeu brokeu to prevent 
them from Sying in the autuitio to tlie warm 
South, and now the North held them fast hound, 
fast banned in its dark, icy grave, atid the waiter 
of the Pavilion said they were all riyht, in there, 
and that the cold was good for them. But it was 
not true ; it is not good for anybody to he im- 
prisoned, powerless, in a cold pool almost frozeu, 
with the wings broken so that one caunot fly 
away to the beautiful South, with its heanUful 
flowers, golden sunlight, and blue mountain lakes. 
Ah ! with nie it waa little better, and I uiider- 
etood the sufTering of these poor swiins, and as it 
ever grew darker and the stars came out bright 
above, the same stars who once so ivarm with 
love wooed the swans on iair suttimer nights, but 
who now looked down with frosty briJIiaucy, and 
almost scornfully, on them. Ah ! I now perceive 
that the stars are no living:, sympathetic beings, 
but only gleaming phantasms of night, eternal 
delusions in a dreamed heaven — mere golden Ilea 
in dark blue Nothingness. 



CHAPTER V. 

While writing the foregoing chapter I was 
thinking all the time on something else. An 
old song was humming in my memory, and forms 




HBRR VON SCHNABBLBWOPSKI. 



117 



F and thoughts confused themselves most iutoler- 
ably, and, willy nilly, I must spenk of it. Per- 
haps it really belongs here, and is right in forcing 
itself into my scribbling. Ah, yes I now I begia 
to understand it, and also to understand the 
mysterious tone in which Klas Hinriclison sang 
it. He was a Jutlander, and served as our 
groom. He sang it the very evening before lie 
hung himself in our stable. At the refrain — 






Sir Votived, look about thee ! 



le often laughed bitterly, the horses neighed in 
ralarm, and the great dog in the courtyard howled 
as though some one were dying. It ia the old 
Danish song of Sir Vonved, who riiles out into 
the world, and adventures about till all his riddles 
are answered, and he in vexed mood returns 
home. The harp singa in it as refrain from 
beginning to end. But what did he sing first 
and last ? I have oftun thought thereon. Klas 
Hinrichson's voice was many a time subdued by 
tears when he began the ballad, and then became 
■adually as rough and growling as the sea when 
storm is rising. It begins : 

Sir Vonved eita in his room alwny, 
Well on hia gold harp he can play ; 
He bides tlie gold harp beticatlL LiJ cloak. 
His mother entered, and thus she spoke ; 
'■ Sir Vonved, look pkoui thee I" 



Ii8 FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 

That was his mother Adeline the Queen. She 
said to him, '' My youDg son, let others play the 
harp. Gird on thy sword, mount thy horse, try 
thy courage, strive and strain, see the world ere 
thou turn again ! Sir Yonved, look about thee ! ' 

Sir Yonved binds his sword to his side, 
To battle with warriors he will ride ; 
Strange was his journey and intent, 
For no man knew the way he went. 
Sir Yonved, look about thee ! 

His helmet was blinking, 
His spurs were clinkin;j, 
His horse was springing, 
In saddle bow swinging ! 

Sir Vonved, look about thee ! * 

He rode one day and then days three, 
Yet never a city could he see. 
" Ha 1 " suid the youth, " on either hand, 
Is there no city in this laud ]" 
Sir Vonved, look about thee ! 

And as he went the road along, 
There came to him Sir Thule Vang, 
Sir Thule Vang, with many a son ; 
They were good warriors every one. 
Sir Vonved, look about thee I 

" My youngest son, hear what I say ! 
Our armour we must change to-day ; 
My harness must be worn by thee. 
Before we fight this hero free." 
Sir Vonved, look about thee 1 



^ The metre changes in this verse as in the Danish originaL 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 119 

Sit Vonved draws hia sword from his side, 
Against the warriors he will ride ; 
Lord Thule first of all he slew, 
Then all of his twelve Bons thereto. 
Sir Vonved, look about thee ! 

Sir Vonved binds liis sword to his side, and 
rides on. Then he meets a hunter, and will 
have half his game. But the man refuses, and 
must fight, and is slain.^ And 

Sir Vonved binds his sword to his side. 
And onward ever he will ride ; 
O'er mountain high, and river deep, 
To where a shepherd guards his sheep. 
Sir Vonved, look about thee I 

Aud to the herd as he drew near. 
Said, ** Whose the flock thou drivest here? 
And what is rounder than a wheel ? 
And where is the merriest Christmas meal f ** 
Sir Vonved, look about thee I 

" Say where the fish rests in the flood ?. 
And where is the red bird so good ? 
Where is the best wine made or sold 1 
Where does Vidrich drink with his warriors bold 1* 
Sir Vonved, look about thee 1 

The herd was silent as could be, 
Of all of this no word knew he ; 
Then at a stroke the herd he slew, 
Liver and lung he cleft in two. 
Sir Vonved, look about thee I 

^ This man had murdered his father. Omitted by Heine.-^ 
Tranilator, 



120 PROM THE MEMOIRS OP 

Then he caiue to another flock, aad there sat 
another shepherd, whom he also questioned. 
This one answers wisely, and Sir Yonved takes 
a gold ring and puts it on the shepherd's arm. 
Then he rides further, and comes to Tyge Nold, 
and slays him with his twelve sons. And, 
further — 

With his hone he rode and ran, 
Sir Yonved, the young nobleman, 
O'er rocks con ride and rivers swim, 
But found no man to talk with him. 
Sir Yonved, look about thee ! 

He came unto the third, and there 
Sat an old man 'with silver hair : 
" List thoU) good shepl^erd, with thy herd, 
1 deem thou'lt wisely speak a word." 
Sir Vonved, look about thee I 

" Oh, wliat u rounder than a wheel 1 
"Where is the merriest Christmas meal ] 
"Where goes the sun across the sky ? 
And where do the feet of a dead man lie 1" 
Sir Vonved, look about thee ! 

♦* What filleth up the valleys all ] 
What garb is best in royal hall? 
AVhat crieth louder than the crane ? 
And what is whiter than the swan 1 " 
Sir Vonved, look about thee ! 

" Who wears his beard on the back, or in ? 
Who bears his nose beneath his chin ? 
And what is blacker than a bolt ? 
Or faster than a frightened colt 1 " 
Sir Vonved, look about thee I 



HERR VON SCHNABBLEWOPSKI. ui 

** Say where the broadest bridge may be, 
Aud what do men most hate to sec ; 
Where is the highest road alone f 
And where the coldest drink thaf s known ? " 
Sir Vonved, look about thee 1 

" The sun is rounder than a wheel, 
In heaven the merriest Christmas meal ; 
The sun forever seeks the west, 
Towards east the feet of a dead man rest" 
Sir Yonved, look about thee I 

" The snow fills up the valleys all, 
Courage beseems a royal hall ; 
Thunder is louder than the crane, 
And angels whiter than the swan." 
Sir Vonved, look about thee ! 

" The plover's beard on his neck hath grown, 
The bear hath his nose 'neath his chin, alone ; 
Sin is blacker than a bolt, 
And thought flies faster than a colt.*' 
Sir Vonved, look about thee I 

" No broader bridge than ice can be, 
The toad is what man most hates to see ; 
To heaven's the higliest road I think, 
And in hell they brew the coldest drink." 
Sir Vonved, look about ihee ! 

" Thy answers are as shrewd, I see, 
As the questions which I put to thee ; 
I trust thee well, and will be bound 
Thou knowest where heroes may be found." 
Sir Vonved, look about ihee I 



UJ FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 

•* The Sonderburg is over there, 
Where knights drink mead withouton fear ; 
There are many kem|)^ and warriors known, 
AVho well in battle can hold their own." 
Sir Vonveil, look about thee ! 

A golden armlet he unwound, 
It Aveighed, I ween, full iifteen pound ; 
He placed it in the shepherd's belt, 
For showing him where the warriors dwelt 
Sir Vonred, look about thee ! 

Then he rode unto the castle, and slew first 
Kaudulf and next Strandulf. 

He slew strong Ege Under, another. 
He 8lew the Ege Karl his brother ; 
Su right and loft his sword blows fall. 
To right and left he slew ilium all. 
Sir Vonveil, look about thee I 

Sir Vonved puts his swoixi in the sheath. 
He rides afar o*er the gloomy heath ; 
In ilie wild mark he found, ere long, 
A warrior, and he was strong. 
Sir Vonved, look about thee ! 

" Tell me, tliou noble rider good, 
AVhere does the fish stay in the Hood? 
Where is the noblest wine of all 1 
Where does Vidrich drink with his lords in hall 1 * 
Sir Vonved, look about thee 1 

'^ In the east the fish stays in the flood, 
In the north they drink the wine so good ; 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKL 123 

In Holland thou findcst Vidrich alone, 
With knights and warriors many a one,** 
Sir Vonved, look about thee I 

From his breast he took an armlet bright, 
And gave it to the other knight : 
" Say that thou wert the very last man, 
"Who ever gold from Sir Vonvcd wun." 
Sir Vonvcd, look about thee I 

Herr Vonvcd did to a castle lide, 
And bid the porter open wide ; 
He shut the gate, the bolt he drew, 
Over the wall Sir Vonved flew. 
Sir Vonvcd, look about thee I 

His good horse with a rope he bound, 
His way to the castle-hall he found ; 
He sat him at the table free ; 
Never a word to man spake he. 
Sir Vonved, look about thee I 

He ate, he drank, he broke his bread, 
Unto the king no word he said : 
" Never I heard before a king, 
So much accursed chattering ! " 
Sir Vonved, look about thee ! 

The king said to his knights all round, 
"The crazy fellow must be bound ; 
Unless ye bind the stranger tight, 
I ween your service is but slight" 
Sir Vonved, look about thee ! 

^Take five, take twenty, knights, I say. 
Come thou thyself into the play ; 



i$4 FHOM THE MEMOIRS OF 

A wli</r«iiM)ti uarua I give to thee, 
{)n\Mm by forco tliou bindeit me." 
Hir VunvDtl, look about thee I 

^Kin^ ICttnior, tho fatlicr mine, 
Aiui iny inolbor, proud Adeline, 
IJitlo itm bavo ofutu told, 
With A kimvd tut not thy gold." 
Hir Vonvod, look about tbee t 

** VViM ICniiiur fiillittr tbcn of thine, 
AimI iby iiiolh«r proud Adeline, 
'I'bttH ihou'rt Vonved, the knight well known, 
Al«o iity own (U*ar tutor's son." 
Hir Voiivud, look ubout thee ! 

*' Hir VohVi'il| N\ilt thou stay with mel 
l^ltK'h boiiour nIuiU bo givon thee ; 
Jim if uwiiy tliou wIU'bI to ride, 
Miiiiv ii knight aluill go beaidc." 
Hir Vi>nv»d, look about thee I 

•* All u\y gold to ilieo I give, 
11 iliou htM'd Willi nio wilt live." 
Hir Voiivtul would not have it 8o, 
Jiui'li to \\U mother hu will go. 
Hir Vonvoil, look about thee I 

Hir Vonv'id rod« along his way, 
(him ho wan in his soul that day ; 
ICru ha to tlu^ oaatle rode, 
WitchiiH twelve before him stood. 
Bir Vonved, look about thee ! 

With their rock and reel they came before, 
And smote him on the knee full sore ; 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 12$ 

He made his cbnr^'cr leap and Bpring, 
He slew the twelve all in a ring. 
Sir Vonved, look about thee ! 

He slew the witches as they stood, 
From him they got right little good ; 
He slew his mother with them all. 
Cut her in thousand pieces small. 
Sir Vonved, look about thee I 

In his hall eits Vonved bold, 
He drinks the wine so clear and cold ; 
He played on his gold harp so long, 
That all the strings asunder sprang. 
Sir Vonved, look about thee l^ 



CHAPTER VI. 

It was a charming spring day when I first left 
Hamburg. I can still see how in the harbour 
the golden suurays gleamed on the tarry bellies 
of the ships, and think I still hear the joyous, 
long-drawn Ho-i-ho ! of the sailors. Such a port 
in spring-time has a pleasant similarity with the 
feelings of a youth who goes for the first time out 
into the world on the great ocean of life. All his 
thoughts are gaily variegated, pride swells every 

1 The Spbynz story appears to have been strangely repro- 
duced in many forms among the Northern races. In the Edda 
there is a game of questions and answers, ending in the petrifac- 
tion of a defeated trolL In the Hervor's Saga, King Heidrek 
puts riddles to Odin in disguise, and loses his life in conse- 
sequence of breaking the conditions of the game. Several of 



126 FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 

sail of his desires — ho-i-Jio ! But soon a storm 
rises, the horizon grows dark, the wind's bride * 
howls, the planks crack, the waves break the 
rudder, and the poor ship is wrecked on romantic 
rocks, or stranded on damp, prosaic sandbanks ; or 
perhaps, brittle and broken, with its masts gone, 
and witliout an anchor of hope, it returns to its 
old harbour, and thei-o moulders away, wretchedly 
unrigged, as a miserable wreck. 

the verses of Sir Vonved recaU an old English ballad, whioh ui 
probably of Danish origin : — 

" Oh, what is longer than the way f 
And what is deeper than the sea T 
And what is louder than the horn T 
And what is sharper than the thorn f 
And what is greener than the grass T 
And what is worse than a woman was t " 

Answer. 

*• Oh, Love is longer than the way, 
And hell is deeper than the sea. 
And thunder is louder than the horn, 
And hunger sharper than the thorn, 
And poison is greener than the grass, 
And the devil is worse than a woman was." 

When she these questions answered had, 
The knight became exceeding glad. 

Vonved*s mother (a witch) had sent him forth to revenge his 
father's death. The last verse, which Heine omits, states that he 
was son of Siegfried the dragon-killer. This ballad made a great 
impression on George Borrow, who alludes to it in "Lavengro."' 

* Wind's bride. The breeze which precedes a tempest. This 
passage recalls one in Shakespeare, ** How like a younker or a 
prodigal." 



HERR VOW SCHNABELEWOPSKl. 

But there ai*e men who canaot be oouii^ared t 
comiuon ships, because they ava like steamboats, 
TLey carry a. gloomy fire within, and sail a;^aiiist 
wind and weather; their smol;y banner streams 
behind, like the black plume of the Wild Huuts- 
mnn; their zigzagged wheels remind one of weighty I 
spurs with which they prick the ribs of tlm ' 
waves, and the obstinate, resistant element must 
obey their will like a steed; but sometimes the 
boiler hursts, and the internal fire burns us up ! 

But now I will escape from metaj^lior, and get 
on board a real ship bound from Humburg to i 
Amsterdam. It was a Swedish vessel, and be- 
sides the hero of these pages, was also iuaJed 
with iron, being dustiued probably to bring as a 
return freight a c!\rgo of cod-fiah to tlie aristoc- 
ritcy of Hamburg, or owls to Athens.^ 

The banks of ilie Ellie are charming, especially I 
so behind Altoua, near I>ainviile. There £lop- j 
stock lies buried. I know of no place where a 
dead poet could more Slly rest. To exist there | 
as a Uvi'iu} poet is, of course, a much more difficult I 
matter, How often have I sought thy grave, i 
oh Singer of the Messiah, thou who hast sung 
with such touching truthfulness the suffering's of 
Jesus. But thou didst dwell long enough on 

' SloeiJItche. Dried tnd-Gsh ; alsii meaning btupid people. 
The Anerlcsn toctn, "ft member of the cod-Gsb arisiicrBCj," 
applies verj well hure lo HamburgcrB, oa provioualj deaoribed 
bj HeiDB. 




the KOnigstrasse beliiiid the Ju 
kuow how prophets nre crucifii 

Oil the second day we carae to Cuxhaven, 

wljich is a colony from Hamburg. The inhabi- 
tants are subjects oE the Republic, and have a 
good time of it.' When they freeze iu winter 
woollen blankets are sent to them, and wlien the 
eutntner is all too hot they are supplied with 
lemonade. A high or well-wiae senator resides 
there as pro-consul. He has an income of twenty 
thousand marks, and rules over five thousand 
subjecla. There is also a sea-bath, whicli has 
the great advantage over all others, that it is at 
iho same time an Elbe-bath. A great dam, on 
wliich one can walk, leads tu Eitzt;biittel, which 
also belon-^3 to Cuxhaven. The term is derived 
from the I'hcunician, as Jiiize and Build signify 
in it the mouth of the Elbe. Many historians 
maintain that Charlt;magne only enlarged Ham- 
burg, but that the Phoenicians founded it about 
the time that Soduin and Gomorrah were de- 
stroyed, and it is not unlikely that fugitives 
from these cities fled to the mouth of tlie Elbe. 
Itetween the Fuhlentwiete and the coffee factory 
men have found old money, coined during the 
reigu of Bera XVL and Uyrsa X. I believe 
that Hamburg is the oLl Tarsus whence Solomon 
received whole shiploads of gold, silver, ivory, 
' llaben ci uhr jut. 






IIERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKt. 



1*9 



I 



peacocks, auil monkcj'a. Svlonion, that ia, tlio 
kiug of Judah and Israel, always had a special 
fancy for gold and moukeys, 

Tliis my first voyage can never be forgotten. 
My old gratid-aiiiit had told me many tales of tha 
sea, which now rose to new life iu my memoiy. 
I could Bit for hours on the deck rocalliug tho 
old stories, and wlicn the waves murmured it 
Beemed as if I heard my grand-aunt's voice. 
And when I closed my e)-e3 I could see her 
before mp, as she twitclied lier lips and told the 
legend of tlie Flying Dutchman. 

I should have been glarl to see some mermaids, 
8uch ns sit on white rocks and comb their sea- 
green hair; but I only heard them singing. 

However earnestly I gazed many a lime down 
into the transparent water, I could not behold 
the sunken cities, iu which mortals enchautod 
into fishy forms lead a deep, a marvellous deep, 
Bud hidden ocean Kfe, They say that salmoii 
and old rays^ sit there, dressed like ladies, at 
their windows, and, fanning themselves, look 
down into the street, where cod-fish glide by in 
trim councillors' costume, and dandy young her- 
tinga look up at tliem through eye-glassea, and 
crabs, lobsters, and all kinds of such common 
crustaceans, swarm swimming about I could 
never see so deep ; I only heard the faint bells 
1 Boehr, the ray or roach. 




130 FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 

of the sunken cities peal once more their old 
melodious chime. 

Once by night I saw a great ship with out- 
/{pread blood-red sails go hj, so that it seemed 
like a dark giant in a scarlet cloak. Was that 
the Flying Dutchman f 

But in Amsterdam, where I soon arrived, I saw 
the grim Mynheer bodily, and that on the stage. 
On this occasion, in the theatre of that city, I 
also had an opportunity to make the acquaint- 
ance of one of those fairies whom I had sought in 
vain in the sea. And to her, as she was par- 
ticularly charming, I will devote a special chapter. 



CHAPTER VI I. 

You certainly know the fable of the Flying 
Dutchman, It is the story of an enchanted 
ship wliicli can never arrive in port, and which 
since time immemorial has been sailing about at 
sea. When it meets a vessel, some of the un- 
earthly sailors come in a boat and beg the others 
to take a packet of letters home for them. These 
letters must be nailed to the mast, else some mis- 
fortune will happen to the ship — above all if no 
Bible be on board, and no horse-shoe nailed to 
the foremast. The letters are always addressed 
to people whom no one knows, and who have long 



HERR VON ^CHNABELEWOPSKI. 131 

been dead,so that some late descendant gets a letter 
addressed to a far away great-great-grandmother, 
who has slept for centuries in her grava That 
timber spectre, that grim grey ship, is so called 
from the captain, a Hollander, who once swore 
by all the devils that he w^ould get round a 
certain mountain, whose name has escaped me,^ 
in spite of a fearful storm, though he should sail 
till the Day of Judgement. The devil took him 
at his word, therefore he must sail for ever, until 
set free by a woman's truth. The devil in his 
stupidity has no faith in female truth, and allowed 
the enchanted captain to laud once in seven years 
and get married, and so find opportunities to 
save his soul. Poor Dutchman 1 He is often 
only too glad to be saved from his marriage and 
his wife-saviour, and get again on board. 

The play which I saw in Amsterdam was 
based on this legend. Another seven years have 
passed ; the poor Hollander is more weary than 
ever of his endless wandering ; he lands, becomes 
intimate with a Scottish nobleman, to whom he 
sells diamonds for a mere song, and when he 
hears that his customer has a beautiful daughter, 
he asks that he may wed her. This bargain also 
is agreed to. Next we see the Scottish home ; the 

* As I have heard the story, Vanderdecken, the captain, 
Bwore that he would " make the Cape " of Good Hope by a cer- 
tain time, or beat round it to all eternity. Vide Marryatt's novel 



»3« 



FROM THE UEUOIRS OP 



maiden with anxious heart awaita the bride^ooni. 
She often looks with strange sorrow at a great, 
litne-wom picture which hangs in the hall, and 
represents a handsome man in the Ketherlandish- 
Spanish garli. It is an old heiilooin, and 
according to a legend of her grandmother, ia a 
true portrait of the Flying Dutchman as he 
was seen in Scotland a Imiidred years before, in 
the time of ■^\'illiani of Oran^-e. And with this 
has come down a warning that the women of the 
faiuily must beware of the original. This has 
naturally cnongh had the result of deeply im- 
pressing the features of the picture on the heart 
of the romantic girl. Therefore, when the man 
himself makes his appearance, she ia startleil, 
but not with fear. He too is moved at behold- 
ing the portrait. But when he is iiirormed 
whose likeness it is, he with tact and easy con- 
versation turns aside all suspicion, jests at the 
legend, laughs at the Flying Dutchman, the 
Wandering Jew of the Ocean, and jet, as if 
moved by the thought, passed into a pathetic 
mood, depiciing how terrible the life must be of 
one condemned to endure unheard-of tortures on 
a wild waste of wateis— how his body itself is 
his living coffiu, wherein his soul ia teriibly im- 
prisoned — how life and death alike reject him, 
like an empty cask scornfully thrown by the sea 
on the shore, and as contemptuously repulsed 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 133 

again into the sea — how his agony is as deep as 
the sea on which he sails — his ship without 
anchor, and his heart without liope. 

I believe that these were nearly the words 
with wliich the bridegroom ends. The bride re- 
gards him with deep earnestness, casting glances 
meanwhile at his portrait It seems as if she 
had penetrated his secret; and when he after- 
wards asks, "Katherine, wilt thou be true to 
me ? " she answers, " True to death." 

I remember that just then I heard a laugh, 
and that it came not from the pit but from the 
gallery of the gods above. As I glanced up I 
saw a wondrous lovely Eve in Paradise, who 
looked seductively at me, with great blue eyes. 
Her arm hung over the gallery, and in her hand 
she held an apple, or rather an orange.^ But in- 
stead of symbolically dividing it with me, she only 
metaphorically cast the peel on my head. Was it 
done intentionally or by accident ? That I would 
know 1 But when I entered the Paradise to culti- 
vate the acquaintance, I was not a little startled to 
find a white soft creature, a wonderfully womanly 
tender being, not languishing, yet delicately 
clear as crystal, a form of home-like propriety^ 

* Apfelaine. 

s Bin BUd h&udicTier Zucht. 

** A creature not too good 
For human nature's daily food." 



134 FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 

and fascinating amiability. Only that there was 
something on the left upper lip wliich curved or 
twined like the tail of a slippery gliding lizard. 
It was a mysterious trait, something such as is 
not found in pure angels, and just as little in 
mere devils. This expression comes not from evil, 
but from the Icnowledge of good and evil — it is 
a smile which has been poisoned or flavoured 
by tasting the Apple of Eden. When I see this 
expression on soft, full, rosy, ladies' lips, then I feel 
in my own a cramp-like twitching — a convulsive 
yearning — to kiss those lips : it is our Affinity.* 
I whispered into the ear of the beauty :— 
" YxiffrouJ I will kiss thy mouth." 
" Bci Gott^ Mynheer I that is a good idea," was 
the hasty answer, which rang with bewitching 
sound from her heart. 

But — no. I will here draw a veil over, and 
end the story or picture of which the Flying 
Dutchman was the frame. Thereby will I re- 
venge myself on the prurient prudes who devour 
such narratives with delight, and are enraptured 
with them to their lieart of hearts, etplvs ultra, and 
then abuse the narrator, and turn up their noses at 
liim in society, and decry him as immoral. It is 
a nice story, too, delicious as preserved pine-apple 

^ WahlvcrwandUchaft, Here better translated by *' passional 

affinity." 
• i't'/i-ou. Miss, young lady. 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 135 

or fresh caviare or truffles in Burgundj', and would 
be pleasant reading after prayers ; but out of spite, 
and to punish old offences, I will suppress it. 
Here I make a long dash — — ^_^— _ 
Which may be supposed to be a black sofa on 
which we sat as I wooed. But the innocent must 
suffer with the guilty, and I dare say that many a 
good soul looks bitterly and reproachfully at me. 
However, unto these of the better kind I will 
admit thnt I was never so wildly kissed as by 
this Dutch blonde, and that she most triumphantly 
destroyed the prejudice which I had hitherto held 
against blue eyes and fair hair. Now I under- 
stand why an English poet has compared such 
women to frozen champagne. In the icy crust lies 
hidden the strongest extract. There is nothing 
more piquant than the contrast between external 
cold and the inner fire which, Bacchante-like, 
flames up and irresistibly intoxicates the happy 
carouser. Ay, far more than in brunettes does 
the fire pt passion burn in many a sham-calm holy 
image with golden-glory hair, and blue angel's 
eyes, and pious lily hands. I knew a blonde 
of one of the best families in Holland who at times 
left her beautiful chateau on the Zuyder-Zee and 
went incognito to Amsterdam, and there in the 
theatre threw orange-peel on the head of any one 
who pleased her, and gave herself up to the wildest 
debauchery, like a Dutch Messalina ! . • . 



Ij6 FROM THE MEMOIRS OP 

When I re-entered the theatre, I came in time 
to see the last scene of the play, where the wife 
of the Flying Dutchman on a high cliflf wrings 
Iier hands in despair, while her unhappy husband 
is seen on the deck of his unearthly ship, tossing 
on the waves. He loves her, and will leave her 
lest she be lost with him, and be tells her all his 
dreadful destiny, and the cruel cnrse which hangs 
above his head. But she cries aloud, ''I was 
ever true to thee, and I know how to be ever 
true unto death ! " 

Saying this she throws herself into the waves, 
and then the enchantment is ended. The Flying 
Dutchman is saved, and we see the ghostly ship 
slowly sink into the abyss of the sea. 

The moral of the play is that women should 
never marry a Flying Dutchmen, while we men 
may learn from it that one can through women 
go down and perish — under favourable circum- 
stances I 



CHAPTER VIII. 

It was not in Amsterdam alone that the gods 
were so kind as to take pains to remove my 
prejudice against blondes. I had opportunities 
nil over Holland to correct my errors in this 
respect By my life ! I will not exalt the ladies 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKL 137 

of Holland at the expense of those of other coun- 
tries — heaven keep me from such injustice! — 
which would be in me rank ingratitude. Every 
country has its own kind of women and its own 
cookery, and in both it is all a matter of taste. 
One man likes roast chicken, another roast duck ; 
as for me, I love both, and roast goose too. 

Eegarded from the high idealistic standard, 
women the world over have a wonderful affinity 
with the cuisine or cookery of their country, 
wherever it be. Are not British beauties now 
— candidly confessed — ^just so wholesome, nour- 
ishing, solid, substantial, inartistic, and yet so 
admirable as old England's good and simple food : 
roast beef, roast mutton, pudding in flaming 
cognac, vegetables boiled once in water, with only 
two kinds of gravy, of which one is melted butter.^ 
There smiles no fricasseCy there we are softly de- 
ceived by no flattering vol-au-vent, there sighs no 
refined ragout, there we are not flirted with and 
flattered by a thousand kinds of stuffed, boiled, 
puffed, roasted, sugared, piquant, sentimental, de- 
clamatory, declaratory dishes such as we find in a 
French restaurant, and which have a startling 

^ I think it was Voltaire who first remarked that England 
had one hundred religions and only one sauce, i.e,, one gravy. 
Even to-day, while there is very commonly in the United States 
a different gravy for every roast, there is the same " made " 
article in England at many very respectable tables for aU. But 
the meat is good. 



FROil THE MEMOIRS OF 

likeness to all beautiful Freiicliwoiiieu. Still wa 
might often observe that by all tliese the real 
tliinr; itself is only regarded as a secondary affair, 
that tlie roast is not worth so much as the gravy, 
aud that here taste, grace, and elegance are tha 
principal and principle. 

Does not the yellow fat, p^issionately spiced 
and flavoured, humorously garnished and yet 
yearning iileal cookery of Italy, express to the 
life the whole character of Italian beauties ? Oil, 
how I often long for the Lombard stiiffados and 
sainpetlis, for the fegatellis, tagliarinis, and hroc- 
coHs of blessed Tuscany. Ail swims in oil, 
delicate and tender, and trills the sweet melodies 
of Rossini, and weeps from oninn perfume and 
desire, liut macaroni must tliou eat with thy 
fingers, and then it is called — Ik'atrice I ' 

1 often think of Italy, and oftenest by ni^ht. 
The day before yesterday I dieamed that I was 
there— a cliecquered liailequin, ond lay all lazy 
under a. weeping willow. The hanging sprays of 

' Stvffado (eorcect\y itufdio), stewed meat or rngnui; inm- 
ptilidi caitralo, 01 di poTco, iheepa' feet orpettiti>ts ; ftijalello, a 
bit of liver tolled tip id its caul ; tarfi,iaHni, haeheR or miacea, 
tiaa > kind of Utibabi brocali, wune bb [a English. None dE 
then, however, are Erst-claM dieheB or delicacies, and the; indi- 
cate that Heioe hnd very little knowledge of Italian cooker; of 
the better cIbsb. But of all this nne may my, Aous avous changi 
lout et'o. Now (here is hnrdly a Qrst-claes hotel in Italy where 
there i« oinro than a very occasional Italian diali ever lerved. 
The cuirinenaE much cbangedeven in the Futliea.^J'ranj/a(Dr, 



HERR VON SCHNABELBWOFSKI. 



139 



tlie tree ii'ero of macaroni, which fell, long and 
lovely, into my mouth, and in between, instead of 
sunraya, flowed sweet streams of golden butter, and 
at last a fair white rain of powdered Parmesan. 

But from the raacaronl of which one dreams 
no one grows fat — Eeatrice ! 

Not a word ahout German cooliery. It has 
every virtue and only one fnnlt ; and what that 
is I shall not tell. It has deeply feeling, sus- 
ceptible pastry without decision, enamoured egg- 
dishes, admirable steamed dumplings,' soul soup 
with barley,* pancakes with apples and pork, 
virtuous home-forced meat brills, and sour cabbage 
— lucky he who can digest it! 

As for the Dutch cookery, it differs from the 
last, firstly in neatness, secondly by its peculiar 
relish. The preparation of fish is there inde- 
seribably delightful. A perfume of celery, "hich 
moves one to the very heart, and is yet deeply 
intellectual. A self-conscious namlii and garlic.' 

But when I arrived in Leydcn I found the 
food frightfully bad. The Republic of Hamburg 
had spoiled me — I must again extol ihe cookery 
there, and avail myself of the opportunity to 
praise the pretty girls and dames of that dear 

' Tacil^t Damp/audeln. In Peticsjlvania knnwn as Noi>illas, 
' ffemfltiaittppe. Oaavlh ia rathetone'apaciilincdispoBilionor 

babitiinl temperament. Fun on OemUte, soft or green wgHtaUei. 
' Pethapa it is hnrillj worth whila to remind the reader tlmt 

aa ID tbc caae o! Ital; , all (if tliia peculiar cookerj has olmoit 

diaappeared horn tbe hutels af Uulland. 



J 



I40 FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 

town. Oh, ye diviuities ! how for the first four 
weeks did 1 wish myself back among the smoked- 
meating liouscs, the butchers' flesh-world, and the 
deviltries and the mock turtle-iloves of Ham- 
monia!^ I yearned heart and stomach. If the 
landlady of the Hcd Cow had not at last fallen 
in love with me, I should have died of longing. 

Hail to thee, landlady of that Eed Cow ! 

She was a little woman, very plump, with a 
very little round head. Eed little cheeks, little 
blue eyes, roses and violets. Many an hour we 
sat side by side in the garden, and drank tea out 
of real Chinese porcelain cups. It was a beauti- 
ful garden, with three and four cornered beds 
symmetrically strewed with gold sand, cinnabar, 
and little sliiniiig sliells. The trunks of the 
trees were prettily painted red and blue. Copper 
cages full of canary birds. The most expensive 
bulbous flowers in variegated and glazed pots. 
Yew trees charmingly cut into various obelisks, 
pyramids, vases, ami animal forms. Yes, there 
was a green ox cut from yew, who looked at 
mo jealously when I embraced the lovely land- 
lady of the Red Cow 1 

Hail to theo, landlady of the Eed Cow! 

When my frow had covered the upper part of 
her head with Frisian gold-plates, defended her 
person with an armour of many-coloured stiff, 

1 Kach den JiaueJ^JleUohliohkeiten und naoh den Mockturtd* 
laubcn JIammoniai, 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 141 

hard, damask silk, aud loaded Ler arms with 
the white abundance of her Brabant lace, she 
looked like a fabulous Chinese puppet — say 
the goddess of porcelain. And when I, enrap- 
tured and inspired, kissed her with a loving smack 
on both cheeks, she sat in porcelain stillness and 
sighed porce-languishly,^ "Mynheer!" — then all 
the tulips in the garden seemed to feel and wave 
aud sigh in sympathy, " Mynheer ! " 

This delicate liaison procured me many deli- 
cacies. For every love-scene of tlie kind had an 
influence on the market-basket, which brought 
provisions to the house and to me. My table 
companions, six other students, could judge to a 
nicety by the roast veal or JUet-de-bosuf how 
much I was loved by the landlady of the Eed 
Cow, When the dinner was bad, then the word 
was, "Just see how miserably Schnabelewopski 
looks 1 how yellow and wrinkled his face is ; what 
a cat's melancholy look there is in his eyes, as if 
they were coming out of his head ; why, it's no 
wonder that our landlady is vexed with him and 
gives us poor food ! " Or else, " Lord help us ! 
Schnabelewopski is growing weaker and feebler 
every day, and by and by the landlady will love 
him no more, and then we shall have short com- 
mons every day like this ; we must feed him up 
well, so as to make him look nice and plump and 

1 0am porcdlanig. 



14* FROU USE UEMOiRS OF 

rosy." Atiil llien Uiey forced all the worst of 
evcrftliing there was on me, and compeUeii ran 
to cat a gre.u deal of celery.' But. when we 
li.id poor fare for several d»}'s in euccesslon, then 

I wiLS besieged with the most passionate prayers 
for better provender; to inHanie aiiew the heart 
of our 1aiiJ!a<If, lo show greater teud<::rne8S to- 
wards her — iu abort, to sacrifice myself for the 
general ■welfare. It was set before me in long 
speeches how noble and glorious it was when 
any one gave himself up heroically for the good of 
liis fellow-citizcus, like Regulus, who let himself 
be put into a spiked barrtil, or Theseus, who volun- 
tarily entered ihe cave of the Minotnur, and then 
Livy and I'lutnrch were cited to give examples- 
Yes, and I was also pictorially e.xhorted to rival 
these examples, by drawing these deeds on the 
wall, with grotesque variations, for the Minotaur 
■was made to look like the Red Cow on the tavern 
si;^n, and the Carthaginian spiked tun like the 
landlady herself. And those ungrateful youths 
selected the personal appearnnce of that excellent 
woman as a constant butt for their wit. They 
imitated her round figure with apples, and rolled 
it up and kneaded its likeness from bread-crumb. 
Tliey took a large apple for the body, put a little 
rosy crab-apple on this for the head, and into the 
former stutk two toothpicks for feet, Or, as I said, 
' Supposed to be on ajjlirodiBla^ 




HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKL 143 

they made her from bread-crumb, and then a very 
little mannikiii of the same, which they put on her 
lap, making the most scandalous remarks. Thus, 
one said that the smaller figure looked like Han- 
nibal climbing the A^P^? while another declared 
it was more like Marius sitting on the ruins of 
Carthage. All the same, if I had not climbed 
those Alps, or seated myself amid those ruins of 
Carthage, my table companions would have had 
but sorry fare. 



CHAPTER IX. 

When the food became veiy bad indeed, then we 
disputed as to the existence of God. But the 
beneficent Deity always had the majority. Only 
three of the table society were atheistically in- 
clined, and even they gave way if we had at 
least good cheese for dessert. The most zealous 
Theist was one little Simson,^ and when he dis- 
puted with tall Van Titter as to whether there 
was a personal Go J, he became at times wildly 
excited, and ran up and down the hall crying 
constantly, " Bei Gott / that isn't fair ! " * Tall 
Van Pitter, a lean Frisian, whose soul was as 
calm as the water in a Dutch canal, and whose 

^ Simson, id est Samson. 

' Bci GoUt das Ut nicht erlaubl. 



FROM THS MEMOIRS OF 




vonlft TolJowed one another as leisurely t 
ctual boat afti^r anotlier, drew his arguments from 
tlie Qerman pliilosophy which was at that time 
Very innch studied iii Leyden. He ridiculed the 
nnrrow-mindeil men who attribute to God a par- 
ticular private existeoce ; he even accused them 
of blasphemy, because they gified God with wia- 
dotn, Justice, love, and other liutiiEin qualities, 
vhich are utterly inappropriate, because these nra 
relatively the negations or antitheses of human 
errors, sach as stupidity, injustice, aud hate. But 
when Van Titter thus developed his own pan- 
theistic views, there came forth against hitn the 
fat Fichtean, Drickseu of Utrecht, who stoutly 
coufuteJ his vague conception of a God spread 
forth through all Kiiture— that is to say, existing 
only in space. Yes, he even declared it was 
blasphemy to eo much as speak of the existence 
of God, since tlie very idea of existence involved 
tliat of space — in short, something subetantiaL 
Yos, it was bhispheiny even lo say of God Be is, 
because the purest or most abstract Being ' could 
not be conceived without limitations of sense, 
whereas, if man would think of God, he must ab- 
stract Him from all substauce.and not thinkof Him 
Bs a form of extension, but as a series or order of 
developments, God not being an action per se, but 
only the principle of a cosmos beyond conception, 
' Dai reiialt Seiiu 



leyoDQ concepuou, ■ 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 145 

Hearing this little Samson fairly raved, and 
ran up and down the hall, and cried ever more 
loudly, " O God, God ! By God, that is not 
fair, God!" I believe that he would, in 
lionour of God, have beaten tlie fat Fichtean, 
had not his arms been too weak ; but as it was 
lie often attacked him, when the big and burly 
one would grasp him by his little arms, hold him 
fast, and without taking the pipe from his mouth, 
blow his airy arguments, mixed with tobacco 
smoke, into Samson's face, so that the little man 
was almost stifled with fume and fret, and wailed 
more and more pitifully, " God ! God ! " 
but it availed him naught, though he defended 
II is cause so valiantly. 

Despite this divine indifference, despite this 
almost human unthankfulness, little Samson re- 
mained a staunch champion of Theism, as I believe 
from inborn inclination ; for his father belonged 
to God's chosen folk, a race which God once very 
specially protected, and which, in consequence, 
has maintained till this day a great dependence 
on him. Jews are ever the most devoted of 
Deists, especially those who, like little Samson, 
were born in the vicinity of Frankfort. These 
may be as republican as they please in political 
questions — ^yes, they may roll in the very mud of 
hans culottiism — but the instant that religious ideas 
are involved they become the humblest servants of 



f46 FROM THE MEMOIRS OP 

their Jehovah, the old fetish, who, however, will 
know nothing of the entire company, and who has 
newly hnptized himself to a divinely pure spirit. 
I helieve that this divinely pure spirit, this 
new ruler of heaven, who is now conceived as so 
moral, so cosmopolite and universal, takes it 
ill at heart that the poor Jews, who knew Him 
in Ids rude first form, remind him every day 
in their synaj^ogiies of his early and obscure 
national relations. Perliaps the ancient Lord 
would fuiii forgt't that he was of Palesthie origin, 
and once the Uod of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob| 
and was in those times called Jehovah. 



CHAPTER X. 

Wiin.K 1 lived at Loyden I saw a great deal of little 
SaniHon, and he will be often mentioned in these 
nuMuoirH. Next to him I met most frequently 
auDihor of my table frionds, young Van Moeulen. 
1 tH)ulil look for hours at his perfectly symmetric 
fiu'o, thinking what his sister, whom I had never 
Boun, nuiHt be like. All that I knew of her was 
that fciho was said to be the most beautiful woman 
in Wuterland. Van Moeulen was also a beautiful 
human being, an Apollo, not of marble, but rather 
of cheese. He was a strange mixture of mind 
find matter, soul and solid rest. Once in a caf(S 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 147 

be SO enraged an Irish gentleman that the latter 
drew his pistol and fired at him. The ball, how- 
ever, only knocked the pipe from his mouth ; but 
Van Moeulen's features were as immovable as 
any Dutchman's head could be, and in the calmest^ 
most indifferent tone, he said, " Jan, e mlepiep ! " 
"John, a fresh pipe!" But his smile was in- 
tolerable to me, for then he showed a row of 
very small white teeth, which looked like a fish 
spine. Nor did I like it that he wore great gold 
ear-rings.^ He bad the strange habit of rearrang- 
ing every day the furniture in his rooms, and when 
a visitor came he was generally found putting 
his bureau where the bed had been, or making 
the study table cliange places with the sofa. 

Little Samson was in this respect his most 
painfully earnest antithesis, lie could not en- 
dure that any one should disturb the least tiling 
in his room ; he even became restless and dis- 
turbed if one so much as picked up the snuffers. 
Everything must lay just as it was, for his goods 
and chattels served him as aids by means of which, 
according to the principles of mnemonics, he fixed 
all kinds of historical dates or philosophic prin- 
ciples "In his memory. Once when the housemaid 

^ A generation ago many men wore gold ear-rings, especially 
in Holland, under the belief that they were good for weak eyes, 
or that they in some way benefited the sight Sailors were the 
last to follow this custom. 



148 FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 

carried away from his room an old chest, and 
removed his shirts and stockings from the bureau 
for the laundress, he was inconsolable when ho 
returned, declaring that he had lost his whole 
Assyrian History, and that all his proofs of the 
immortality of the soul, which hi3 had arranged 
60 systematically in the drawers, were gone to 
the wash ! ^ 

Among the originals whom I learned to know 
in Leyden belongs Mynheer van Bisseu, a cousin 
of Van Moeulen, who introduced liim to me. He 
was professor of theology at the university, and 
I attended his lectures on the Canticles of Solo- 
mon and the Apocalypse of St. John. He was 
a fine, flourishing, florid man, perhaps of fifty-five, 
and in his chair was very staid and serious. But 
once when I called ou him and found no one in 
liis study, I saw through the half-opened door of 
a side-room a very slrange sight. This cabinet 
was furnished in a half-Chinese, half-Pompadour 
style, with shot-gold ^ damask hangings on the 
wall, on the ground the most costly Persian carpet, 

^ Few things which were in the list of scholastic absurdities 
escaped Heine, and it is not remarkable that he should here 
satirise the Mnemonic system, which teaches us to remember 
anything by first remembering tomething else, instead of directly 
cultivating memory itself. 

' GoLdigschUlemde Damasttapeten. Schillem is to shine while 
changing colour. Schiller the poet is said to derive his nam« 
from a wine so calltd from its gleam. 



HERE VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 149 

and everywliere marvellous Indian idols, bric-a- 
brac of mother-of-pearl, flowers, peacock's feathers, 
and gems, the sofa of red velvet with gold tassels ; 
and among it all a raised seat, which looked like 
a throne, on which sat a little girl, perhaps three 
years old, clad in a blue satin silver embroidered 
dress of very antiquated fashion. She held in 
one band, like a sceptre, a many-coloured pea- 
cock duster, and in the other a faded wreath of 
laurel. Before her Mynheer van Bissen was with 
his little negro page, his poodle, and his monkey, 
rolling over and over on the ground. They 
grappled with, tugged and bit one another, while 
the little girl and a green parrot sitting on its 
perch cried " Bravo ! " At last Mynheer rose 
from the ground, kneeled before the child, and 
expressing in a long Latin speech the bravery 
with which he had fought and conquered his 
foes, let the little girl crown him with the laurel 
wreath, while she and the parrot cried " Bravo ! " 
in which I joined as I entered the room. 

Mynheer appeared to be somewhat taken aback 
as I surprised him in his performance. This, I 
was assured, was his daily amusement ; every day 
he fought and defeated the little negro, the poodle, 
and the monkey, and was then crowned by the 
little girl, who was not, however, his own child, 
but a foundling from the Orphans' Asylum of 
Amsterdam. 



ISO FROM THE MEMOIRS OP 



I 

w 



CHAPTER XI. 

The house in which I lodged in Lejden waa 
once the dwelling of Jan Steen, the great Jan 
Steen, whom I regard as being as great as Raphael.^ 
And he was even his equal as a religums painter. 
That will be clearly seen when the religion of 
pain and suSering shall have ended, and the 
religion of joy tear the mournful veil from the 
rose-bushes of this earthy and the nightingales at 

' *' Und du8 exglaim der Breitmann 
In wonder-solemn shdrain, 
De cratest men vere Brauwer, 
Van Ostadd und Jan Steien. 
Der Raffael* vas vel enof, 
Dot is, in his small way ; 
Boot, Gott in Himmel ! vot vos Ke 
Compared mit soosh as dey f 

" De more ve digs indo de dirt. 
Or less ve seeks a star, 
De nearer ve to Natur* coom, 
More pantheistisch far. 
To him who reads dis mystery right, 
Mit iuspiradion gifen, 
Der Raffaers rollin' in de dirt. 
While Brauwer soars to heaven." 

— The Breitmann BaUadt, 

I do not know whether this is an instance of precoincidence, 
or of the mind's unconsciously retaining and reproducing an 
image. I suppose it is the latter ; but when I wrote these verses 
I absolutely believed the conception to be original. — Note by 
Tiandutor, 




I 



HERS VON SCHNABELEIVOPSKI. 

last Jare pour fortli in rapture their long-sup- J 
pressed notes of pi ensure. 

But really no niglitingale will ever ainf 
gaily and rejoicingly us Jan Steen baa painted. I 
No one ever Telt so deeply that, en this earth, I 
life ought to be one endless Kirmes/ He knew j 
that our life is only a coloured kiss of God, 
and that the Holy Ghost reveals Himself most 
gloriously in light and laughter. 

Ilia eyes looked out into li^ht, and tlio light 
mirrored itself in his laughing eyes. 

And Jan was always a dear good fellow. When j 
the harsh old preacher of Leyden sat down on the 
other side of the fireplace opposite to him, and 
gave him a long exhortation aa to his jovial life, 
his laughing, un-Christian ways, his drunkenness 
and ill-regulated domestic life and reprobate 
merriiuent, Jan listened to him two long hours 
without betraying the least impatience at this 
preaching of punishment, until he at last inter- 
rupted him with the words, "Yes, Domine, but 
the light would be much better — yes — 1 beg 
you, Domine, just turn your stool a little round 
to the fire, so that your fac« may get a redder 
tone, while the rest of the body is iu the shadow ! " 

' Kirmcil., or Kermai, clinrch miiss. An nnntisl festival 
which, SB kept in Htma's time in the great citiee of Hullaad, 
was of such genEral, roaring debanchery sa would seem inccodible 
tn peoplB of thu present day. These oitrayagBnt Strmeticl 
died out about the eanio time a.s llic Itnllati caniivalf^ 



ts* FROM THE UEMOIRS OF 

The Domiue rose in a roaring rage and departed, 
but Jan caught up his palette and painted tlie 
stern old geutlcnmn, just as he Imd sat in that 
puiiJBhment-sennan position for model without 
knowing iL T!iG picture is admirable, and iB 
huug in my bedroom in Leydeu.' 

After having sceu ^o many pictures of Jan 
Stccn in Holland it seems to me as if I knew the 
man's wliolu life. Yea, I knew his whole kith 
and kin and awiuaintance, wife and children, 
mother and cousins all, domestic foes, aud other 
hangers on, absolutely face by face. They salute 
like friends from all liis pictures, and a coUection 
of them wotdi be a biography of the painter. 
He has often set forth the deepest secrets of his 
aoul with a few touches of liis brush. I am very 
sure th:it his wife often scolded hiui for drinking, 
fur in his picture of the Bean Feast, where Jaa 
eita with his whole family at table, there we sea 
liis wjTe with a ^reat wine jug in her liand, her 
eyes gloaming like those of a Bacchante. I 
am Bure, however, tliat the good woman really 
drank very little, and the rogue wished to hum- 
bug us with the idea that it was his wife and no6 
lie wlio was given to toping, Por this cause he 
himself laughs ftU tjjo more joyfully from the 

' This nnacdoto nnd otbere indicato thiit eya memory t^ 
"liaionnl repreaontation " wna much mure eultivifeii by tl^ 
older artietH than l>y tlio^e qf tho present day. 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOrSKI. 153 

painting. There he sits, perfectly happy; his 
son is the Bean-King, and stands on a stool 
wearing a gilt crown ; his old mother, with the 
happiest wrinkled face, holds the youngest scion 
in her arms ; the musicians play their maddest^ 
merriest dancing melodies, while the ever econo- 
mical thinking, economically grumbling good wife 
is set forth to all futurity as if she were tipsy ! 

How often in my lodgings in Leyden have I 
thought over the domestic life which this glorious 
Jan Steen must have experienced and endured. 
Many a time it seemed that I saw him in the 
body, sitting at his easel, now and then grasping 
the great pitcher, " reflecting and drinking, and 
drinking yet again without reflection." It is not 
a dreary Catholic spectre, but a modern bright 
and merry spirit of joyousness, which, now 
that he is gone, haunts his studio, to paint jolly 
pictures and drink. Such will be the ghosts 
whom our descendants will see at times by bright 
daylight, while the sun shines through the clear 
white panes ; while it is not a black and doleful 
bell, but scarlet-swelling tones of trumpets, which, 
pealing from the tower, will announce the pleasant 
dinner-hour ! 

The memory of Jan Steen is, howevej*, tjie 
best, or rather the only pleasant souvenir of my 
dwelling in Leyden. Had it not been for that, 
I should never have held out for eight days in 



FROM THE itEMOlRS OF 

tliat house. Its exterior was wretclied, melancbolj, 
and morbid, or altogether un-Dutch. The dark, 
mouldy building stood close by tlie cnnal, and 
ulien one went to the other aide it reminded one 
of an old witch looking at herself in a gleaming 
magic mirror. As on all Dutch roofs, there 
always stood on oura a couple of storks. Close 
by ma lodged the cow whose milk I drank every 
morning, and there was a poultry-roost under my 
viudow. My lady. poultry neighbours laid good 
eggs, but m they always, previous to publishing 
their works, preceded them by a long and weari- 
some prospectus of cackling, my enjoyment of 
their products was materially diminished.' Among 
special annoyances was my landlord's playing the 
violin all day, and my landlady's playing the devil 
with him out of jealousy all night. 

He who would know all about the mutual rela- 
tions of this pair needed only to listen to them 
in a duet. Tlie man performed on the violoncello 
and his wife on the violin d'amour, but they did 
not play in time, so that lie was always a note 
behind, and ihere came withal sucb cutting cruel 
tones that when tlie 'cello growled and the violin 
gave grinding groans, one seemed to hear a matri- 

I Tlitre ia a fable by CI.™ 
with foe making a great noi 
tba ben replies that — 

"X publish Grst my v/otTh 
And then— review it," 



I 



HERR VOJf SCHNABELEWOPSKt. 

monial row witliout words. And after the hus- 
baiid stopped playing, tho wife always kept ( 
as if dtitcrmined to liave the last word. She waa 
a large hut very thin woman, nothing but skin 
and bones, a month in wh^h false teeth chattered, 
a low forehead, almost no chin, but a nose which 
p for the deficiency, the tip of wiiich 
curved like a beak, and with which she soeined, 
when playing, to muille the sound of a string. 

My landlord was about iifty years of age, and 
had slender legs, a, worn away pale face, little 
green eyes, always blinking like those of a sentinel 
who has the sun shining in his face. He was hy 
trade a bandage maker, and in religion an Ana- 
baptist. He read the Bible so assiduously that it j 
passed into his nightly dreams, and while hia j 
eyes kept wiuking he told his wife over their ] 
coffee how he had again been honoured by 
converse with holiest dignitaries, how he had \ 

I even met the highest Holy Jehovah, and how 
all the ladies of the Old Testament treated him 
in the friendliest and tendercst manner. This 
last occuiTenee was not at all to the liking of my 
landlady, and she not unfrequently manifested a 
jealous mood aa to these meetings with the blessed 
damsels of the early days. " If lie had only con- 
fined his acquaintance, now," she said, " to the pure 
mother Mary, or old Jlartha, or, for all I care, even 
Mary Mngdalen, who reformed ; but to be meeting 



136 FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 

night after night those drinking hnssies of Lot's 
daughters, and that precious Mra. Judith and the 
vagabond Queen of Sheba, and similar dubious 
dames, could not be endured." But nothing 
could equal her rage when one morning her hus- 
band gave her an inspired account of how he had 
enjoyed an interview with the beautiful Esther, 
who had begged him to help in her toilet when 
enhanciDg her charms to fascinate Ahasuerus. In 
vain did the poor man protest that Mordecai him- 
self had introduced )iim to his fair ward, that she 
was quite half-clad, and that his attentions had 
been confined to combing out her long black hair 
— the enraged wife beat the poor man with his 
own bandage?, poured hot coflee into his face, 
and would certainly have made away with him 
it* he had not sworn, in the most solemn manner, 
in future to avoid all Old Testamental inter- 
course with ladies, and Ixcep company in future 
only with the patriarchs and pj'ophets. 

The results of this ill-treatment were that from 
that time Mynheer s^id nothing about his nightly 
adventures ; he became a religious roud, and con- 
fessed to me that he had not only become ultra- 
intimate with the chaste Susanna, but that he 
had dreamed his way into Solomon's harem, and 
taken tea with liis thousand wives. 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 157 



CHAPTER XII. 

Wretched jealousy ! Owing to it one of my 
sweetest dreams — and perhaps the life of little 
Samson — were brought to a mournful end ! 

What is dreaming ? What is death ? Is it 
only an interruption of life or its full cessation ? 
Yes, for people who only know the Past and the 
Future, and do not live an eternity iu every 
moment of the Present, death must be terrible ! 
When their two crutches. Space and Time, fall 
away, then they sink into the eternal Nothing. 

And dreams ? Why are we not more afraid 
before going to sleep than to be buried ? Is it 
not terrible that the body can be as if dead all 
night, while the spirit in us leads the wildest 
life — a life full of all those terrors of that parting 
which we have established between life and soul I 
When in the future both shall be again united in 
our consciousness, then there will be perhaps no 
more dreams, or else only invalids, those whose 
harmony has been disturbed, will dream. The 
ancients dreamed only softly and seldom ; a strong 
and powerfully impressive dream was for them an 
event, and it was recorded in their histories. 

Ileal dreaming began with the Jews, the 
people of the Spirit, and attained its highest 
development among the Christians, or the 



IS8 FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 

spiritual people. Our descendants will shudder 
when they read what a ghostly life we led, how 
Humanity was cloven in us and only oue half 
had a real life. Our time — and it begins with 
the crucifixion of Christ — will be regarded as the 
great period of illness of Humanity. 

And yet, what beautiful sweet dreams we 
have been able to dream ! Our healthy de- 
scendants will hardly be able to understand 
them ! All the splendours of the world dis- 
appeared from around us, and we found them 
again in our own souls ; yes, there the perfume 
of the trampled roses, and the sweetest songs of 
the frightened nightingales took refuge. 

Thus I feel, and die of the unnatural anxieties 
and horrible dainties and sweet pains of our 
time. When 1 at night undress and lay me in 
bed, and stretch myself out at full length, and 
cover myself with the white sheets, I often 
shudder involuntarily, it seems so like being a 
corpse and burying myself. Then I close my eyes 
as quickly as I can to escape this fearful thought, 
and to save myself in the Land of Dreams. 

It was a sweet, kind, sunshiny dream. The 
heaven was heavenly blue and cloudless, the sea 
sea-green and still. A boundless horizon ; and 
on the water sailed a gaily-pennoned skifl*, and 
on its deck I sat caressingly at the feet of 
Jadviga. I read to her strange and dreamy 



HERR VON SCHNADELEWOPSKI, 159 

love songs, which I had written on strips of 
rose-ooloured paper, sighing yet joyful, and 
she listened with incredulous yet inclined car 
and deeply-loving smiles^ and now and then 
hastily snatched the leaves from my hand and 
threw them in the sea. But the beautiful water 
fairies, with snow-white breasts and arms, rose 
from the water and caught the fluttering love- 
lays as they fell. As I bent overboard I could 
see clearly far down into the depths of the sea, 
and there sat, as in a social circle, the beautiful 
water-maids, and among them was a young sprite 
who, with deeply sympathetic expression, de- 
claimed my love-songs. Wild enraptured ap- 
plause rang out at every verse ; the green-locked 
beauties applauded so passionately that necks and 
bosoms grew rosy red, and they praised cordially 
yet compassionately what they heard. "What 
strange beings these mortals are ! IIow wonderful 
their lives, how dire their destinies ! They love, 
and seldom dare express that love; and when 
they give it utterance at last, they rarely under- 
stand one another ! And withal they do not lead 
eternal lives like ours ; they are mortal. Only 
a little time is granted them to seek for happi- 
ness, they must grasp it quickly and press it 
hastily unto their hearts, ere it is gone ; there- 
fore their songs of love are so deeply tender, so 
sweetly painful and anxious, so despairingly gay, 



l6o FROJI THE MEMOIRS OF 

such strange blendings of joy and pain. The 
melancholy shadow of death falls on their happiest 
hours, and consoles them lovingly in adversity. 
They can weep. What poetry there is in mortal 
tears!" 

"Dost thou hear," I said to Jadviga, "how 
they judge of us ? Let us embrace, so that they 
may pity us no longer, and may envy us ! * 
But siie the beloved looked at me with infinite 
love, and without speaking a word. I had kissed 
her into silence. She grew pale, and a cold 
shiver thrilled her lovely form. She lay stiff as 
white marble in my arms, and I had deemed her 
dead if streams of tears had not poured from her 
eyes, and these tears flooded me while I held the 
loved image ever more firmly in my arms. 

All at once I heard the keen slirill voice of 
my landlady, who wakened me from my dream. 
She stood before my bed with a dark lantern in 
her hand, and bade me rise quickly and follow 
her. She absolutely never looked so ugly before I 
Without knowing what she wanted, and still half 
asleep, I went after to where her husband lay, 
poor man, with night-cap over his eyes, apparently 
dreaming. He moved his limbs and his lips 
smiled as if with incfl'able happiness, while he 
rattled and stammered, " Vashti ! Queen Vashti ! 
Your Majesty — fear not Ahasuerus — beloved 
Vashti ! " 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI. i6i 

With eyes glowing with wrath tlic wife lent 
over her sleeping spouse, laid her enr to liis head 
as if listening to his thoughts, and whispered to 
me, " Are you now convinced, Mynheer Schna- 
belewopski ? He has now a love afifair with Queen 
Esther — the scandalous wretch ! I found out 
this horrid intrigue last night. Yes, he has 
preferred even a heathen to vie/ Bub I am 
wife and a Christian, and vou shall see how I 
will revenge myself!" 

Saying this she tore away the bedclothes, and 
grasping a bandage of tough stag leather, laid it 
on horribly to the poor sinner. He, awakened 
so unpleasantly from his Biblical dream, screamed 
otit as loudly as if the capital city of Susa were 
on fire and all Holland under water, and with 
his shrieks alarmed the wliole neighbourhood. 

The next day it was all over Leyden that my 
landlord had raised this cry because he had caught 
me by night in company with his wife. This 
latter had been seen half-undressed through the 
window, and our housemaid, who was angry at 
me, and who had been questioned by the land- 
lady of the Eed Lion as to the occurrence, told 
how she herself had seen Myfrow make a noc- 
turnal visit to my room. 

Truly I cannot think of this afTair without great 
pain, and what horrible results there were ! 



FROU THE MEUOIRS OF 



CHAPTER XIII. 



Ip the landlady of the lied Cow had been 
Italian she would have poisoDed my victuals, but 
a3 she was a Dutcliwoman she only cooked them 
as badly as possible. la fact, ve experienced 
the very next day the result of her feminine 
revenge. The first dish was no soup. That was 
awful, especially for a mnu brought up decently 
as I was, who from youth upwards had bad soup 
every day, and who had hitherto never imagined 
that there was a world where the sun never shone 
and man soup never knew. The second course 
was beef, as cold imd hard as Myron's cow. Then 
followed iish. which had indeed an ancient and 
fish-like smell, and which went untouched in 
silence as it came. Tljen came a great, old 
spectre of a heu, which, far from satisfying our 
hunger, looked so wretchedly lean and hungry 
that wc, out of sympathetic pity, could not 
tonch it. 

" And now, little Siimsou," cried the burly 
Dricksen, " doat thou still believe in God? Js 
this just ? The Bandage-baggage visits Schnabe- 
lewopski in the dark watches of the night, and 
on (hat account we must starve by daylight ! " 

■■0 God, God!" sighed the little fellow, 
vilely vexed by such atheistic outbreak, and 



on I 

9nt I 





■BRR VON SCHNABBLBWOPSKl. 

peiliups by such a miaeraWe meal. And liig 
initability increased as the tall Vau Fitter let 
(ly Ilia arrows of wit against Aiitliropomorphiata 
and praised the Egyptians who ot yore wor- 
eliipped oxen and onions ; the first because they 
tasted BO well when roasted, and the latter when 
BtulTed. 

Bui little Samson under such mockery became 
furious, and at lost he shot forth his defence ot 
Deism, 

" God is for man what the sun is for the 
flowers. When the rays of his heavenly coun- 
tenance fall on the flowers, then they grow and 
open out their calyxes, and unfold their most 
varied colours. By night, when ihe sun is gone, 
they stand Borrowrul wicli closed petals, and 
Bleep or dream of the kisses of the golden rays 
of tlie past. Those which are ever in the shadow 
lose colour and growtii, shrink and grow pale, 
and wilt away miserable and unfortunate. But 
iliose which grow entirely in the dark, in old castle 
vaults, under ruined cloisters, become ugly and 
poisonous ; they twine like snakes ; their very 
emell is unhealthy, evilly benumbing, deadly." 

"Ob, you need not spin out your Biblical 
parable any further," said burly Dricksen, as ha 
poured unto himself a great glass oE Schiedam 
gin. "Thou, little Samson, art a pious blossom 
who iidialea in the sunshine of God the holy 



l64 FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 

rays of virtue and love to such inspiration tliat 
thy soul blooms like a rainbow, while ours, 
turned away from God, fade colourless and 
hideous, if we don't indeed spread forth a 
poisonous stink." 

" I once saw in Frankfort," said little Samson, 
" a watch which did not believe there was any 
watchmaker. It was of pinchbeck and went 
very badly." ^ 

" ril show you anyhow that such a repeater 
knows how to strike," * replied Dricksen, who sud- 
denly became silent and teased Samson no mora 

As tlie latter, notwithstanding his weak little 
arms, was an admirable fencer, it was determined 
that the two should duel that day with rapiers. 
They went at it with great bitterness. The 
black eyes of little Samson gleamed as if of fire 
and greatly magnified, and contrasted the more 
strangely with his little arms, which came forth 
so pitifully from his roUed-up shirt-sleeves. He 
l»ecame more and more excited ; he fought for 
the existence of God, the old Jehovah, the King 
of kings. But He aided not in the least His 
champion, and in the sixth round the little man 
got a thrust in the lungs. 

*' God ! " he cried, and fell to the ground. 

^ The famous simile of the watch taken by Paley from Sil 
Kinelm Digby. Clir in German means both watch and clock. 
^ Schlagen, to strike, also means to fence. 



herr von schnabelewopski. 165 



CHAPTER XIV. 

This scene excited me terribly. But all the fury 
of my feelings turned against the woman who had 
directly caused such disaster, and with a heart 
full of wrath and pain I stormed into the Red 
Cow. 

" Monster, why did you not serve us soup ? " 
These were the words with which I addressed 
the landlady, who became deadly pale as I entered 
the kitchen. The porcelain on the chimney- 
piece trembled at the tone of my voice. I was 
as desperate as only that man can be who has 
had no soup, and whose best friend has just had 
a rapier through his lungs. 

" Monster, why did you not serve us soup ? *' 
I repeated these words, while the consciously 
guilty woman stood as if frozen and speechless 
before me. But at last, as if from opened sluices, 
the tears poured from her eyes. They flooded 
her whole face, and ran down into the canal of 
her bosom. But this sight did not soften me, 
and with still greater bilteiness I cried, " ye 
women, I know that ye can weep, but are tears 
soupj Ye are created for our misery. Your 
looks are lies, and your breath is treason and 
deceit. Who first ate the apple of sin ? Geese 
saved the" Capitol, but a woman ruined Truy, 



iG6 PROM THS UEMoms OF 

Troy, Troy I thou holy fortress o£ Priam, 
thou didst fall by a woman ! Who cast Marcua 

AureliuB into deatructiun ? By whom was Mar- 
cua TulliuB Cicero murdered? Who demanded 
Uic head of John the Baptist ? Who was the 
cause of Abelard's mutilation f A woman. 
History is replete, yea unto repletion, with the 
terrible examples of man's ruin caused by you. 
All your deeds are folly, and nil your llioughta 
are ingratitude. We give you the highest, the 
holiest flame of our hearts, our love — and what 
do we get for it? Beef that the devil would not 
eat, and worse poultry. Wretch and monster, 
why did yon serve no soup?" 

llyfrow began to etaninier a aeries of eicusea, 
find conjured me, by all the sweet memories of 
our love, to forgive her. She promised to pro- 
vide better provender than before, and only charge 
six florins per head, though the Creole Dohlen 
landlord asked eight for his ordinary. She went 
80 far as to promise oyster patties for the next 
diiy — yes, in the soft tone of her voice there was 
even a perfume as of truffles. But I remained 
firm. I was determined to break'with her for 
ever, and left the kitchen with the tragic words, 
" Farewell ; between us two all is cooked out for- 
ever 1" 

In leaving I heard something fall Whs it a 
pot for cooking or Jlyfrow herself? I did not 



HERR VON SCHNABELBWOPSKl. 

take the pains to loolc, aud weut Btralght to the I 
Groote Dohlen to order six covers for the next day. 

After tliis important business I hurried to little I 
Samsou'a house aud foimd him iu evil case. Ho 
lay in an immense oU-rashioued hed which had j 
no curtains, and at the corners of which were I 
great marbled wooden pillars wliich bore above a I 
richly f,'ilt canopy. The face of the littlo fellow i 
was pale from pain, and iu the glance which he 
cast at me was so much grief, kiddness, and 
wretchedness, that I was touclied to the heart 
The doctor hsid just left him. Baying that hia 
wound was serious. Van Moeulen, who alone 
had remained to watch all night, sat before hia | 
bed, and was reading to him from the Bible. 

" Sclmabelewopaki," sighed the suffdrer, "it ia 
good that you came. You may listen, and 'twill 
do you good. That is a dear, good book. My 
ancestors bore it all over the world with them, 
and much pain, misfortune, cursing and hatred, 
yes, death itself, did they endure for it. Every 
leaf in it cost tears aud blood : it is the written 
fatherland of the children of God ; it ia the holy 
inheritance of Jehovah." 

" Don't talk so much ; it's had for you," said I 
Van Moeulen. 

" And indeed," I added, " don't talk of Jehovah, i 
the moat ungrateful of goda, for whose existence J 
you have fought to-day." 



i68 FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 

" God ! " siylied the little man, and tears fell 
from his eyes, " Thou help'st our enemies." 

" Don't talk so much," said Van Moeulen 
again. " And thou, Schnabelewopski," he whis- 
pered to me, " excuse me if I bore thee ; the little 
man would have it that I should read to him the 
history of his namesake Samson. We are at the 
fourteenth chapter — listen ! 

" * Samson went down to Timnath, and saw 
a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the 
Philistines.' " 

" No," said the patient with closed eyes, " we 
are at the sixteenth chapter. It is to me as if 
I were living in all that which you read me, as 
if I heard the sheep bleating as they feed by 
Jordan, as if I myself had set fire to the tails 
of the foxes and chased tbem tlirough the fields 
of the Philistines, and as if I had slain a thousand 
Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. Oh the 
Philistines ! ^ they cn^^laved and mocked us, and 
made us pay toll like swine, and slung me out 
^f doors from the ball-room on the Horse, and 
kicked me at Bockenheim — kicked me out of 
doors from the Horse ! — oh, by God, that was not 
fair." 

"He is feverish, and has wild fancies," softly said 
Va-n Moeulen, and began the sixteenth chapter. 

^ Samson here confuses the Philistines of old with the modern 
arLicle. All townspeople are called Philistines by the students. 



HERR VON SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 1C9 

" ' Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw ihere 
an harlot, and went in unto her. 

" And it was told the Gazites, saying, Samson 
is come hither. And they compassed him in, and 
laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, 
and were quiet all the night, saying, In the 
morning, when it is day, we shall kill him. 

" * And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at 
midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the 
city, and the two posts, and went away with 
them, bar and all, and put them upon his slioul- 
ders, and carried them up to the top of an hill 
tliat is before Hebron. 

" * And it came to pass afterward, that he loved 
a woman in the valley of Sorek whose name was 
Delilah. 

" * And the lords of the Philistines came up 
unto her and said unto her. Entice him and see 
wherein his great strength lieth, and by what 
means we may prevail against him, that we may 
bind him to afflict him : and we will give thee 
every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver. 

" * And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray 
thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and where- 
with thou mightest be bound to afflict thee. 

" * And Samson said unto her, If they bind me 
with seven green witlis that were never dried, 
then shall I be weak and be as another man. 

" * Then the lords of the Philistines brought up 



no 



FROU THE MEitOlRS OF 



lo her seven green withs which had not beea 
dried, and she bound him with them. 

" ' Now there were men lying in wait, abiding 
with her in the chamber. And she said. The 
I'hiliatinea be upon thee, Samson. And he brake 
the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it 
loucheth the fire. So his strength was not known.' " 

" Oh, the fools of I'hilistines ! " cried the little 
man, and smiled well pleased ; " and they wonted 
to take me up and put me in the constable's 
guard." 

Van MoGulen read on : — 

" ' And Delilah said to Samson, Behold, thou 
hast mocked me, aud told nie lies : now tell me, 
I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound. 

"'And he said unto her. If they bind me fast 
with new ropes that never were occupied, then 
sliall I be weak, and be as another man. 

" ' Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound 
him therewith, and said unto him, The Philis- 
tines be upon thee, Samson. And there were 
liiTs in wait abiding in the chamber. And ho 
brake them from off his arms like a thread.' " 

" Fools of Pliilistioes," cried the little man. 

" ' And Delihdi said unto Samson, Hitherto thou 
host mocked me, and told me lies : tell me where- 
with thou mightest be bound ? And he said 
nnto her, If tiiou weavest the seven locks of 
luy head with the web. 



HERR VON SCHNABELBWOPSKT. 171 

' And she fastened it with the pin, and said 
unto Lim, The Philistines be upon thee, Sam- 
eon. And he awaked ont of his sleep, and went 
away with the pin of the beam, and with the 
web." " 

The little man laughed, "Tliat waa in tlie 
Escheiilieimer Lane." But Van Moeulen con- 
tinued : — 

And she said unto him, How canst thou 
Bay, I love thee, when thine lieart is not with me ? 
thou hast mocked me tlicse three times, and hast 
not told me wherein thy great strength lieth. 

"'And it came to pass, when she pressed him 
daily with her words, and urged him, so that his 
eoul was vexed unto death ; 

' That he told her all his heart, and said uuto 
her, Tliere hath not come a razor upon mine 
head; for I have been a Nazarite nnto God from 
iny mother's womb; if I be shaven, then my 
strength will go from me, and I shall become 
weak, and be like any other man.' " 

What folly!" sighed the little man. Van 
Moeulen kept on : — 

' And when Delikh saw that he had told her 
bU hia heart, she sent and called for the lords of 
the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for 
he hath showed me all his heart. Then the 
lords of the Philistines came up unto her and 
Lrought money in their hau>l. 



172 FROM THE MEMOIRS OF 

** * And she made him sleep upon ber knees, and 
she called for a man and caused him tx) shave off 
the seven locks of his head ; and she began to 
afflict him, and his strength went from him. 

" ' And she said, The Philistines be upon thee^ 
Samson. And he awuke out of his sleep, and 
said, I will go out as at other times before, and 
shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord 
was departed from him. 

" ' But the Pliilistines took him, and put out 
his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and 
bound him with fetters of brass ; and he did grind 
in the prison house.'" 

"0 God I God ! " wailed and wept the sick 
man. " Be quiet ! " said Van Moeulen, and read 
on : — 

" ' Ilowbeit the hair of his head began to grow 
ngain after he was shaven. 

" * Then tlie lords of the Philistines gathered 
them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto 
Dagon their god, and to rejoice : for they said. 
Our God hath delivered Samson our enemy into 
our hand. 

" ' And when the people saw him, they praised 
their god: for they said. Our God hath delivered 
into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of 
our country, which slew many of us. 

" * And it came to pass, when their hearts were 
merry, that tliey said.. Call for Samson, that he 



HERR Von SCHNABELEWOPSKI. 173 

may make us sport : and tliey called for Samson 
out of the prison house ; and he made tbem sport : 
and tliey set him between the pillars. 

'* ' And Samson said unto the lad that held him 
by the hand, Suffer nie that I may feel the pillars 
whereupon the house standeth^ that I may lean 
upon them. 

" * Now the house was full of men and women ; 
and all the lords of the Philistines were there ; 
and there were upon the roof about three thousand 
men and women, that beheld while Samson made 
sport. 

" * And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, 
Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and 
strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O 
God, that I may be at once avenged of the Phil- 
istines for my two eyes. 

"'And Samson took hold of the two midd'e 
pillars upon which the house stood, and on which 
it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, 
and of the other with his left. 

" * And Samson said, Let me die with the Phil- 
istines. And he bowed himself with all his 
might ; and the house fell upon the lords, and 
upon all the people that were therein. So the 
dead which he slew at his death were more than 
they which he slew in his life.'" 

At this little Samson opened his eyes spectrally 
wide, raised himself spasmodically, seized with 



174 HERR VON SCHNABELBWOPSKI. 

his slender arms the two pillars at the foot of 
his bed, and shook them, crying out in wrath, 
'^ Let me die with the Philistines I " The stron^: 
columns remained immovable ; but, exhausted and 
smiling sadly, the little man fell back on his 
pillow, while from his wound, the bandage of 
which was displaced, ran a red stream of blood. 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 

A FRAGMENT. 

IVM kindly greeting, the Legend of the Rabbi of Bacharack 

IS Dedicated 
to his friend Henry Laube by the Author. 



-M- 



CHAPTER I. 

On the Lower Ehine, where its banks begin to 
lose their smiling aspect, where hills and cliflfs 
with romantic ruined castles rise more defiantly, 
and a wild and sterner dignity prevails, there 
lies, like a strange and fearful tale of the olden 
time, the gloomy and ancient town of Bacharach. 
But these walls, with their toothless battlements 
and turrets, in whose nooks and niches the winds 
blew and the sparrows rest, were not always so 
decayed and fallen, and in these poverty-stricken, 
repulsive muddy lanes which one sees through 
the ruined tower, there did not always reign that 
dreary silence which is only now and then broken 
by crying children, scolding women, and lowing 
cows. These walls were once proud and strong, 

>75 



176 THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 

and these lanes were alive with a fresh, free life, 
power and pride, joy and sorrow, much love and 
much hate. For Bacharach of old belonged to 
those municipalities which were founded by the 
Ilomans during their rule on the Ehine;^ a^d 
its inhabitants, though the times which cdme 
after were sadly stormy, and though they had 
to submit first to the Hohenstaufen, and then to 
the Wittelsbach authority, managed, after the 
example of the other cities o^ • the Bhine, to 
maintain a tolerably free commonwealth. This 
consisted of an alliance of different social elements, 
in which the patrician elder citizens and those 
of the guilds which were subdivided according to 
their different trades, mutnally strove for powef, 
60 that while they were bound in union to keep 
ward and guard against the robber-nobles, they 
nevertheless were obstinate in domestic dissen- 
sions waged for warring interests, the results of 
which were constant feuds, little social inter- 
course, much mistrust, and not seldom actual 
outbursts of passion. The lord warden ^ sat on 
the high tower of Sareck, and darted downwards 
like his falcon, whenever called for, swooping 

^ Bacharach is so called from Ara Bacchic the altar of 
Baochus, on account of the wine made there. 

** A jolly place it was in days of yore ; 
But something ails it now — the spot is cursed." 

' Vo(/t. Governor, warden, prefect, or prevost 




r 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 177 

iilao many a time uncalled. The clergy ruled in 
darkness by darkening the souls of otliera. One 
of the most distracted and helpless of bodies, 
gradually groand down by local laws, was the 
little Jewish community. Tin's was first formed 
in Bacharach in the days ot the Romans, and 
during the later persecution of the people it had 
taken in many a flock of fugitive co-reliyionists. 
The great oppression of the Jews began with 
the crusades, and raged most furiously about the 
middle of the fourteenth century, at the end of 
the great pestilence, which was, like all other 
great public disasters, attributed to the Jews, 
because people declared tliey had drawn down 
the wrath of God, nnd with the help of the 
lefiers had poisoned the wells. The enlaced 
populace, especially tlie hordes of Flagellants, or 
half naked men nnd women, who, lashing them- 
selves for penance and sineing a mad hymn to 
the Virgin, swept over South Germany and the 
Rhenish provinces, murdered in those days many 
thousand Jews, torturing others, or baptizing tbeni 
by force. There was another accusation which 
had come down from earlier times, nnd which 
through all the Middle Ages, even to the begin- 
ning of the last century, cost much blood and 
suffering. This was the ridiculous story, often 
I'epeated in chronicle and legend, that the Jewi 
stole the consecrated wafer, and stabbed it through 
:lh knives till blood ri'n from it. And to thia 




IJ8 



THE RABBI OF BACMARACH, 



it was ailded ilut at the feast of the Passover the 
Jews slew Cliristinn children to use theit b!ood 
in the night sacrilice. 

Therefore on this festival tlie Jews, liated for 
their wcalih, their religion, and the debts due to 
them, were entirely in the liands of their enemies, 
who could easily brinf- about their destniction 
by sprending the report of such a child-murder, 
and then secretly putting a bloody infant's corpse 
in the house of a Jew thus accused. Then there 
would be an attack l>y night on the Jews at their 
prayers, wliere there was murder, plunder, and 
baptism; anl great mirncles wrought by the dead 
child aforesaid, whom the Church eventually can- 
onised. Saint Werner is one of these holy beings, 
and in his honour the magnificent abbey of Ober- 
wofel was founded. It ia now one of the most 
beautiful ruins on the Khine, and which, with 
the Gothic grandeur of its long ogival windows, 
proudly high-sljooting pillars, and marvelloua 
stono-carviug, so strangely enclianta us when we 
wander by it on some gay, green summer'a diiy, 
and do not know what was its origin. In honour 
of this saint tliree other great churches were built 
on the Rhine, and innumerable Jews murdered 
or makreated. All this happened in the year 
1 287 ; and in Bacharacli, where one of these Saint 
Werner's churches stood, the Jews suffered 
much misery and persecution. However, they re- 
mained for two centuries after, protected from 



J 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 179 

f such attacks of popular rage, tliough they were 

I continually sulject to enmity and threatening.^ 
Yet the more hate oppressed them from with- 

* out, the more earnestly and tenderly did the 
Jews of Bacharach cherish their domestic life 
within, and the deeper was the growth among 
them of piety and the fear of God. The ideal 
exemplar of a life given to God was seen in their 

I Eabbi Abraham, who, thou;^h as yet a young man, 

■ Heine speaks here oE the :tlidilte Ages. Whnt Kould be 
have laid could he bave forLSten thnt in the year 18S9 a book 
wnuld be pulili^lied devoted to proving tbat Jews da BOcriGcs 
ChnKtian children, and that this book would receive the ap- 
probation and aaoctlon of tba Pope I Sinoa tronalating tlie 
foregoing pasangc, I have met with the following remorkabin 
illnstrstiun of it in the Lecant Uerald:— 

"A feir daja back two Greeks preeented tbomseiveB at Van 
palace of the grand rablii of Smy run, and asked to see hitn 
L on verj important buaineen. The venerable Abraham Patacci 
I being unwell, they wore asked to coma ancjther day. Next 
I daj they called again ; the rablii not having yet recovered, his 
I son, a man of forty-Qve, learning that the business was urgent, 
asked if they could not explain it to him. After some desultory 
cuiiiersatinn they consented, at the same time requesting tn be 
conducted to lome remote compartment where there was ni) 
danger of being oierbeard. Tliis being done, ons of them said 
to him : — ' Every one has his particular religion ; we sre aware 
that part of yimrs is to offer at Eastor a Cbcistian child in sacri- 
fice; now we ars ready, for the sum of ^1400, to furnish you 
with a fine, plump, and liealthy ChriKtinn child, a little Greek 
girl of four yGu,rB old, for your SDcrifice, and the child thall 
be obtained in such a manner as to insure the moet profunnd 
aecrecy.' The rabbi's sun, as may be supposed, was tbumier- 
■truck at the proposal, but he dissembled his feelings and ntateil 
that before he could enter into any definite arrangements with 



^K thatb 



tin TUB RABBI OF BACHAKACtl. 

WHB faincil far nnd witJe for Iiia learning. Eoni 
ill Ilaclmrncl), tiis father, wtio had been the rabbi 
tliore beforo him, bad charged him in bis last 
will iiovnr to leave the place unless for fear of 
lifa. Thia command, and a cabincl full of rare 
Loulta, wns nil which his parent, who lived in 
privorty ami learning, left him. However, Rabbi 
Alii'uhaiii \va* a very rich man, for be had niar- 
liod llio only daughter of his palernal uncle, who 
had liuuri n jjrcat doaler in jewellery, and wiiose 

tlniM It wna tiroiunry hn ahnlild Conault Mh fathtr. They 
liuf lii|) ootiHintud to thia, ha wllhilrvw to his fatber's rnom and 
lirli fly niUtfd to lilm llio itury of the griin propoBol. Speaking 
111 lliH Hvbnivr tniiKUl!, lor (ear the tnon uutiide ihould uoder- 
Rlnnd, tUn rallier tiild lilm In dnpntcli a meaeDger iinmedUtdy 
111 llin licndriliartrr* o( lh« pi>Uoii Ti^qiii^sting llie chief of polioa 
til Mnd ImiiiadUtiil}' Ml otllcor with it body of gcndannei, and 
tlivli t<i (III back and kt'cp Um QrvikK, und«r tlia prctenoe of 
(lliciKiliitf Ibi prlo* nl thiiir crime. Rmin Kffundi ipeedily 
aiiawn'i'il llin aummiia*, anil tin tli* arrival «f the laptieha the 
rulilil iHwIwI lU*in behind ■ d<iDr conoesUd by n heavy curtain, 
kiid (viit wiml In hit ann timt the men hail come, llii» nieaitsge, 
tiki Iha prw\ loiia «ii«, biiluu dullvvreij in Rebrew. One oF thute 
Indlvlilnala aakinit what tlia man hnd uid, Niasim Pnlaccl 
knawaretl Uitt kli fi>th*r, ■tthiingh ill, wiahed to cee them. 
Ualion d Into tli» prv*»aoe i>( thu ralibl, he began asking them 
In Tlirblah, to Ihal the offltiala might undentand the oSair, 
Ikiw and where thay gut the vhlld, how the anle wu to ba 
tlTiMiirtl, and muny other partioulan. The (rxaDiinatiiiu of the 
OHM Hllafaet"rlly vnnoliidud, lie wliiillvd, the pi^lioe game in, 
ami, having tuanaoled tlia men, M thcni off t<i prinon. Aa they 
Wpra lad thruu|)li iha alreeta atimo Inkling of t)ie nffnlr eeema In 
liHVa gol abroad, and the imIIm hail to be atrengChened ta 
r<i|ir>aa thu |ieiiplB, uhu looked aw if about to 
thii mlaaremita," 



I 



THB RABBI Of BACUARACU. iSi 

jKJSSessions lie liad iuhciited. A lew miachiel!- 
makers' in tlio community liioted now and ihfin 
that the rabbi had married for money. But the 
women one and all denied this, declaring it was 
a well-known stoiy that the lalibi, long ere he 
went to Spain, was in love with " Beautiful 
Sara," and Iiow she waited for him seven years 
till he returned ; lie Ijaving already wedded her 
against the will of her father, and even her own 
inclination, hy ihe betrothal- ring. For every Jew 
can make a Jewish girl his lawful wife, if he can 
put a ring on her finger, and say at the same 
time: "I take tliee fur my wife, according to iba 
law of Hoses and Israel." And when Spain was 
mentioned, the same gossips were want to smile 
in the same significant manner, and all because of 
an obscure rumour that, though Eabbi Abraham 
had studied the holy law industriously enough 
at the high school of Toledo, yet that he had fol- 
lowed Cbi'istian customs and become imbued wiili 
habits of free thinking, like many Spanish Jews 
■who had at that time attaiued a very remarkable 
degree of culture. 

And yet in their hearts the tale-hcrirers put 
no faith in these reports; for ever since his 
return from Spain the daily life of the Itabbi 
had been to the last deiiree pure, pious, and 
earnest. He carried out the least details of all 



k. 



iSj the rabbi op BACHARACH. 

religious customs and ceremonies with pfttnful 
conscientiousness ; he fasted every Monday and 
Tliuraday — only on Sabbatlis and feaat days 
did lie indulge in meat or wine; his time waa 
jio-^'sed in pi-ayer and stuiiy ; by day ho taught 
the Law to tlie studenta, whom his fame had 
drawn to Bncliarach, and by night he gazed on 
tlie stars in heaven, or into the eyes of the beau- 
tiful Sara. His niarrieJ life was childless, yet 
there wns no lack of life or gaiety in the house- 
hold. The great hall in his home, which stood 
near the synagogue, was open to the whole com- 
munity, so that peojde went and came from it 
without ceremony, some ofTering short prayers, 
others exchau;jirig news, or taking mutual counsel 
when in trouble. Here the children played of 
Sabbath mornliigB wliile the weekly " section " 
was read; here many met tor wed''ng or funeral 
processions, and quarrelled or were reconciled; 
here, too, those who were cold found a warm 
stove, and the hungry a well-spread table. And, 
moreover, the Riibbi had a multitude of relations, 
brothers and sisters, with their wives aud chil- 
dren, as wtll as an endless array of uncles and 
cousins, in common with his wife, all of whom 
looked up to the Eabbi as the head of the family, 
and 60 made themselves at home in his house, 
and never failed to dine with him on all great 
festivals. Special among these grauJ gatherings 



THR RABBI OF BACHARACH, 1S3 

in the Eal»brs house was the annual celebration 
of the Passover, a very ancient and remarkable 
feast which Jews still hold every year in the 
month Nissen, in eternal remembrance of their 
deliverance from Egyptian captivity. 

Which takes place as follows: As soon as it 
is dark the matron of the family lights the lamps, 
spreads the table-cloth, places in its midst three 
plates of unleavened bread, covers them with a 
napkin, and places on the pile six little dishes 
containing symbolical food, that is, an egg, lettuce, 
horse-radish, the bone of a lamb, and a brown 
mixture of raisins, cinnamon, and nuts. At 
this table the father of the family sits among 
relations and friends, and reads to them from a 
very curious book called the Agade^ whose con- 
tents are a strange mixture of legends of their 
forefathers, wondrous tales of Egypt, questions 
of theology, prayers and festival songs. During 
this feast there is a grand supper, and even 
during the reading there is tasting of the sym- 
bolical food and nibbling of Passover bread, while 
four cups of red wine are drunk. Mournfully 
merry, seriously gay, and mysteriously secret as 
some dark old legend is the character of this 
nocturnal festival, and the usual traditional sing- 
ing intonation with which the Agade is read by 
the father, and now and then re-echoed in chorus 
by the hearers, at one time thrills the inmost 




THE RABBI OP BACHARACH. 

KUl OS wiUi a sIiiiJiIlt, nouu calai 
were a mother's lullaby, and anon s 
suddeuljr into waking that even those Jews whu 
liave long fallen away troin the faith of tlieir 
fathers and run after atrange joys and honours, 
are moved to their very hearl3 when by chance 
the old wfll-kuown tones o[ the Passover songs 
ling ill their ears. 

And 60 llabbi Abrnliam ome sat in his great 
ball surrounded by rulatlons, disciples, and many 
other guests, to CL'Iebrate the great feast of the 
I'asBOvcr. All nround was unusually brilliant; 
over the tablu hung the gaily embroidered silk 
1,'aiiopy, whose gold fringes touched the floor ; the 
plate with the symbolic food shone in a com- 
fortiible home-like way, aa did the tall wine 
goblets, adoruud with embossed images of holy 
lugends. The men sat in their black cloaks aud 
bluck broad-brimmed hats, with white collars; 
the women, in wonderful glittering garments of 
Lombard stulfs, wore on their heads and necks 
nniameuts of gold and pearls, and the silver 
Sabbath lamps poured forth their pleasant li^^ht 
on the pleased faces of parents and children, 
happy in their piety. On the purple velvet 
cushions of ii chair, higher than the otheiB, and 
recliuing as the Law enjoins, sat Rabbi Abraham, 
and read and sang the Agadc, while the raised 
assembly joined with him, or answered in the 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH, 183 

appointed places. The Eabbi also wore the ap- 
pointed black festival garment, his nobly-formed 
but somewhat severe features wore a milder 
expression than usual, his lips smiled in the 
dark-brown beard as if they would fain tell 
something agreeable, while in his eyes there was 
an expression as of happy remembrances allied 
to some strange foreboding. The beautiful Sara, 
who Sat on the same high velvet cushion as her 
husband, wore, as hostess, none of her ornaments — 
only white linen enveloped her slender form and 
good and gentle face. This face was touchingly 
beautiful, even as all Jewish beauty is of a pecu- 
liarly moving kind ; for the consciousness of the 
deep wretchedness, the bitter scorn, and the evil 
chances amid which her kindred and friends 
dwelt, gave to her lovely features a depth of 
sori'ow and an ever-watchful apprehension of 
love, such as most deeply touches our hearta 
So on this evening the fair Sara sat looking into 
the eyes of her husband, yet glancing ever and 
anon at the beautiful parchment book of the 
Agade which lay before her, bound in gold and 
velvet. It was an old heirloom, with ancient 
wine stains on it, which had come down from 
the days of her grandfather, and in which were 
many boldly and brightly-coloured pictures, which 
she had often as a little girl looked at so eagerly 
on Passover evenings, and which represented all 



t86 THH RABBI OP BACHARACH. 



1 



kinds of Bible stories — how Abraham broke asun- 
der with a hammer the idols of his father, how 
the angels came to him, how Moses slew Mizri, 
how Pharaoh sat in state on his throne, how the 

frogs gave liim no peace even at table, how he — 
the Lord be praised ! — was drowned, how the chil- 
dren of Israel went cautiously through the Eed 
Sea; how they stood open-mouthed, with their 
sheep, cows, and oxen, before Mount Sinai ; how 
pious King David played the harp ; and, finally, 
how Jerusalem, with its towers and battiemenls, 
shone in tlic splendour of the setting sun. 

The second wine-cup had been served, the 
(aces and voices of the guests grew merrier, and 
the Rabbi, aa he took a cake of unleavened bread 
and raised it, greeting gaily, read these words 
from the Agade: "Sue! This is the food wliich 
our fathers ate in Egypt I Let every one who is 
hungry come and enjoy it 1 Let every one who 
is sorrowful come and share the joys of our 
Passover ! In this year we celebrate it here, but \ 

in years to come in the land of Israel. This year j 

we celebrate it in Eervitude, but in the years to 
come as sons of freedom I " 

Then the hall-door opened.and there entered two 
tall, pale men, wrajiped in very broad cloaks, who 
said: "Peace bo with you. We are men of your 
faith on a journey, and wish to share the Passover- 
feast with you!" And the Eabbi replied promptly 



J 




THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 



187 

[ and Iciiidly : "Peace be with you, sit ye down near 
Tiie two strangers sat down at the table, 
and the Eabbi read on. While the company con- 
versed, he often cast a pleasant, petting word to liia 
wife J and playing on the old saying that on this 
evening a Hebrew father of a family regards 
himself as a king, said to her, "Eejoice, oh my 
Queen r* But she replied, smiling sadly, "The 
Prince is wanting," meaning by that a eou, who, 
as a passage in the Agade req^uires, shall ask his 
father, with a curtain formula of words, what is 
the meaning of the festival ? The Rabbi said 
nothing, but only pointed with his finger to a 
picture on the opoued leaves of the Agade. It 
was quaintly and touchiiigly drawn, showing how 
the three angels came to Abraham, announcing 
that he would have a son by his wife Sara, who, 
meanwhile, urged by feminine curiosity, is listen- 
ing slyly to it all behind the tent-door. This little 
sed a threefold blush to rise to the cheeks 

^ of beautiful Sara, who looked down, and then 

i pleasantly at her husband, who went on 

chanting the wonderful story how Rabbi Jesua, 

Eabbi Eliezer, Eabbi Asaria, Eabbi Akiba, and 

I Eabbi Taiphen sat reclining in Bona-Brak, and 
conversed all night long of the Exodus from 
Egj'pt till their disciples came to tell them it 
was daylight, and that the great morning prayer 
was being read in the synagogm 



I 



188 THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 

As Beautiful Sara listened with duvotion 
M'liile looking at her husband, slie saw that in 
an instant his face assumed an expression as 
of agony or despair, his cheeks and lips were 
deadly pale, and his eyes glanced like balls of 
ice ; but almost immediately he became calm 
and cheerful as before, his cheeks and lips grew 
ruddy, he looked about him gaily — ^nay, it seemed 
as if a mad and merry mood, such as was foreign 
to his nature, had seized him. Beautiful Sara was 
frightened as she had never been in all her life, 
and a cold shudder came over her — less from the 
momentary manifestation of dumb despair which 
she had seen in her husband's face, than from the 
joyousness wliich followed it, and which passed 
into rollickin<3^ jollity. The Eabbi cocked his cap 
comically, first on one ear, then on the other, 
))ulled and twisted his beard funnily, sang the 
Agade texts like tavern-songs ; and in the enu- 
meration of the Egyptian plagues, where it is 
usual to dip the forefinger in the full wine-cup 
and cast the drops adhering to the earth, he 
sprinkled the young girls near him with the red 
wine, and there was great wailing over spoiled 
collars, and ringing laughter. At every instant 
Beautiful Sara became more awed at this con- 
vulsive merriment of her husband, and oppressed 
with nameless fears she gazed on the buzzing 
swarm of gaily glittering guests who comfortably 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACll, 1S9 

spread or rocked themselves here and there, nib- 
bling the thin Passover cakes, drinking wine, 
gossiping, or singing aloud full of joy. 

Then came the lime for supper. All rose to 
wash, and beautiful Sara brought the great silver 
basin, richly adorned with embossed gold figures, 
which was presented to every guest, that he 
might wash his hands. As she held it to the 
Eabbi, he gave her a significant look, and quietly 
slipped out of the door. In obedience to the sign 
Beautiful Sara followed him, when he grasped her 
hand, and in the greatest haste hurried lier through 
the dark lanes of Bacharach, out of the city gate to 
the highway which leads toBingen along theEhine. 

It was one of the nights in spring which are 
indeed softly warm and starry withal, yet which 
inspire the soul with strange uncanny feelings. 
There was something of the churchyard in the 
flowers, the birds sang peevishly and as if vexing 
themselves, the moon cast spiteful yellow stripes 
of light over the dark stream as it went murmuring 
away, the lofty masses of the Rhine cliflFs looked 
dimly like quivering giants' heads, the watchman 
on the tower of Castle Strahleck blew a melan- 
choly tune, and with it rang in jarring rivalry the 
funeral bell of Saint Werner's. Beautiful Sara 
carried the silver ewer in her right hand, while 
the Eabbi grasped her left, and she felt that his 
fingers were ice-cold, and that his arm trembled ; 



IfO 



TUP. RABBI OP BACttARACtf. 



liiit ttill ilio wtiiit on vith liim ia sileooe, per- 
liniw bocauio r)ib was accustomed to obey Uiadlj 
iiikI iiiiqncstioniRg — perhaps, too, iMcaase her Upa 
wt'T'i luitto with fear and anxiety. 

ItnloW Cuiitlu Soiincck, opposite Lorch, about 
llio pliioa where the hnnilet or Nieder £heuibach 
liriw staridii, thuro iIbch a clifT which arches out 
flvor UiD \\\Aw hnnk. llie Itnbbi ascended it 
wllh liiii wlfii, looked uround on every side, and 
dftiioil (III ihd stars. TroinUing and shivering, as 
with tlia piiiri of deiilli, Duautiful Sara looked at 
hin ]iiihi fiii'o, which Bceincd npectre-like in the 
ni(iiiii-ni,vit, and seemed to oxpioss hy turns pain, 
\vtTtvc, \i\r>iy, nnil rn({o. But whuu the Habbi 
stiitdtiiily simluhud from hor liands the silver ewer 
M\\\ ihritw It I'lU' nwuy into tlio lUiine, she could 
lin hnnjer (iiidiim her n^'imy of uncertniuty, and 
iiryliiH nut, ".SVA(t(/<ii', full of niercyl" threw her- 
self nt hiN foitt, and conjured liim to solve the 
diii'lf riiljjiiin. 

UiiiiUo nt llmt to speak Cioin excitement, the 
Ititlibl iiiovod his 1lps witlioul uttering a sound, 
till nt tnxt hui'iiiid, "Uoat tliou bqo the Angel of 
I'liiilhr Tluirn Ih'Idw lio swccjisover Bncharach. 
Hut wo have psw]u'd his swovd. I'rnised hi) God I " 
Anil 111 a voico still tn-ml'liaf; with excitement 
\w ln|il hrr thill wliilo lie was happily iirid com- 
liirtnlily siHHliitf '''« Agniir ho glnuced by chance 
liintfl' llm liilih', iiJid ^nw iit liia feet the bluoily 



^ 



I 



I 



THE RABBI OP BACHARACH. 191 

Corpse of a little cliilJ. "Then I kuew," con- 
tinued the Rabbi, "that our two guesta were not 
of the community of Israel, but of the assembly 
of the gtidleaa, who had plotted to bring that 
corpse craftily into the house bo as to accuse ua 
of child-murder, and stir np the people to plunder 
Biid murder us. Had I given a sign that I saw 
through that work of darkness I should simply 
have brought destruction on the instant to me 
mine, and only by craft did I preserve our 
lives. Praised be God ! Grieve not. Beautiful 
Sara. Our relations and friends will also be 
saved. It was only my blood which the wretches 
wanted. I have escaped them, and tliey will be 
satisfied with jiy silver and gold. Come with 
me, Beautiful Sara, to another laud. We will 
leave bad luck behind us, and tiiat it may not 
follow us I liave thrown to it the silver ewer, the 
last of my possessions, as an offering. The God 
of our fathers will not forsake us. Come down, 
thou art weary. There is Dumb William staud- 
ing by his boat ; he will this morning row us up 
the Ehine." 

Speechless, and as if every limb was broken, 
Beautiful Sara lay in the arms of the Eabbi, 
who slowly bore her to the ban!;. There stood 
William, a deaf and dumb youth, but yet beautiful 
as a picture, who, to maintain his old foster- 
mother, M'ho was a neighbour of the Itabbi, was 



191 THE RABBI OP BACHARACIL 

n fisljerman, an<l kept his boat in tliis place. It 
seemed as if he had divined the intention of 
Abraham, an<l was waiting for him, for on his 
silent lips there was an expression as of sweet 
sympathy and pity, and his great blue eyes rested 
as with deep meaning on Beautiful Sara, while 
he lifted her carefully into the canoe.^ 

The glance of the silent youth roused Beautiful 
Sara from her lethargy, and she realised at once 
that all which her husband had told her was no 
mere dream, and a stream of bitter tears poured 
over lier cheeks, which were as white as her gar- 
ment So she rested in the canoe, a weeping image 
of white marble, while by her sat her husband 
and Silent William, who was rowing earnestly. 

Whether it was owing to the measured beat 
of the oars, or tlie rocking of the boat, or the 
fresh perfume from the Ehine banks whereon 
joy grows,* it ever happens that even the most 
sr^rrowful being is marvellously calmed when 
on a night in spring he is lightly borne in 
a light c'lnoe on the dear, clear Bhine stream. 
For in truth old, kind-hearted Father Rhine 
cannot bear that his children shall weep, so, 
calming their cryin^r, he rocks them on his 

' Kahn, The Rhine boats were almost invariably canne-lik« 
ill form, as many are at present. 

* Worauf die Frexide wdehsi. In allusion to the vineyards 
sf the Rhine, 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 193 

trusty ann, and tells them his most beautiful 
stories, and promises them his most golden trea^ 
sures, perhaps tlie old, old, long-sunk Nibelungen 
hoard. Little by little the tears of Beautiful Sara 
ceased to flow; her worst sorrow seemed to be 
washed away by the eddying, whispering waves, 
while the hills about her liome bade her the 
tenderest farewell. Most trustingly of all did 
the Kedrich, her favourite, give her a farewell 
greeting ; and it seemed as if far up in the 
strange moonlight, resting on its summit, she saw 
a lady with outstretched arms, while the daring 
dwarfs swarmed out of their caverns in the rocks, 
and a rider came rushing down the rocks in full 
gallop. And Beautiful Sara felt as if she were a 
child again, sitting once more in the lap of her 
aunt from Lorcb, who was telling her brave tales 
of the bold knight who freed the stolen damsel 
from the dwarfs, and many other true stories of 
the wonderful Wisperthal " over there," where 
the birds talk as sensibly as any mortals, and of 
Gingerbread Land, where good, obedient children 
go, and of enchanted princesses, singing trees, 
crystal castles, golden bridges, laughing water- 
fairies. . , . But all at once among these plea- 
sant tales which began to send forth sounds of 
music and to gleam with lovely light. Beautiful 
Sara heard the voice of her father, who scolded 
the poor aunt for putting such nonsense into the 

N 



)94 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 



child's head. Tlieu it Eeenied to her as if tl 
set her on the httle etool before lier fathi 
velvet - covered chair, who with a soft hand 
smoothed her long hair, aud smUed as if well 
pleased, and cradled himself coinfortal)ly in hia 
full, S:ibbat]i dressing-gown of blue silk. Yes, 
it must be the Sabbath, for the flowered cover 
was spread on tbe table, all the utensils in the 
room shone polished like looking-glasses, the 
white-bearded public messenger' sat. beside her 
father, and ate raisins and tallied in Hebrew ; 
even little Abraham came iit with a very great 
book, and modestly begged leave of his uncle to 
expound a portion of the Holy Scripture, that 
he might prove that he had learned mucli during 
the past week, and therefore deserved much 
praise — and a corresponding quantity of cakes. 
. . . Then the lad laid the book on the broad 
arm of the chair, and set forth the history of 
Jacob and Rachel, and how Jacob lifted up his 
voice aud wept wbeu he first saw bis cousin 
Eacbel, bow he talked so confidingly with her 
by the well, how he had to serve s^veu years 
for her, aud bow speedily they passed away, and 
bow he at last nuirried aud loved her for ever 
and ever. . . . Then all at onne Beautiful Sara 
remembered how her father cried with merry 
voice, " Wilt thou not, like that also, marry thy 
' GaaeindcdUncT. Lit., Bervftot of the coniinunity. 



I 



THE ttASBt OF BACHARAClt. 



i« 



I' 



jDusin Sara!" To wliich little Abrtiliatii seri- 
' ously replied, " That I will, and she shall wait 
years too." Theae memories stole like 
twilight shadows through the soul of the young 
vife, and she saw how she and her little cousin 
!• — now so great a man and her husband — played 
I like childi'cn togetlier in the leafy tahernacle; 
how they were delighted with the gay carpets, 
flowers, mirrors, and gilded apples; how little 
Abraham petted her more tenderly, till he grew 
to be little hy little lar^^'er and less aTidablo, and 
at last of full growth aud altogether yrirti. . . . 
And now she sits in her room alone of a Satunlay 
evening ; the moon shines brightly in, and the 
door flies open, and cousin Abraham, in travelling 
garb and pale as death, comes in, and gi-asps het 
hand and puts a gold riag on her finger, and 
says solemnly, " I hereby taite thee to he my 
wife, according to the laws of God and of Israel." 
" But now," lie added, with a trembliug voice, 
"now I must go to Spain. Fiirewell — for seven 
years thou must wait for me." So he hurried 

»away, and Sara, weeping, told the tale to her 
father, who roared and raged, " Cut off thy 
bair, for now thou art a married woman," and 
lie rode after Abraham to compel him to give 
her a letter of divorcement; but he was over 
the lulls and far away, and the father returned 
j^KsileDtly to his house. And when Beautiful Sar,v 



I 

.2^ 



I86 THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 

kinds of Bible stories — tiow Abraham broke asun- 
der with a hammer Ihe idols of his father, how 
the aiigela came to him, how Moses slew Mizri, 
how I'haraoh sat in state on his throne, how the 
frogs gave him no peace even at table, how he — 
the Ixird be praised '. — was drowned, how the chil- 
dren of Israel went cautiously through the Bed 
Sea; how they stood open-mouthed, with their 
sheep, cows, and oxen, before Mount Siuai ; how 
pious King David played the harp ; and, finally, 
how Jerusalem, with its towers and battlements, 
shone in the splendour of the setting sun. 

The second wine-cup had been served, the 
faces and voices of the guests grew merrier, and 
the Rabbi, as he took a cake of unleavened bread 
and raised it, greeting gaily, reaii these words 
from the Ajade : " See ! This is the food wliich 
our fiitliers ate iu Egypt ! Let every one who is 
hungry come and enjoy it ! Let every one who 
is sorrowful come and sliare the joys of our 
Passover I In this year we celebrate it here, but 
i[i years to come iu the land of Israel. Tliis year 
we celebrate it in servitude, but iu the years to 
come as sons of freedom I" 

Then the hall-door opened, and there enteredtwo 
tall, pale men, wrapped in very broad cloaks, who 
said: "Peace be with yon. We are men of your 
faith on a journey, and wish to share the Passover- 
least with you!" And the Eabbi replied promptly 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 



and kindly; "Peace be witli 3-o' 
inel" 



t ye down near 
The two strangers sat down at the table, 
and the Kabbi read on. While the company con- 
versed, he often cast a pleasant, petting word to his 
wife ; and playing on the old saying that on this 
evening a Hebrew father of a family regards 
himself as a long, said to her, " Eejoicc, oh my 
Qneen 1" But she replied, smiling sadly, "The 
Prince is M-anting," meaning by that a son, who, 
as a passage in the Agade req^uires, shall ask his 
father, with a certain formula of words, what is 
the meaning of the festival ! The Piabbi said 
nothing, but only pointed with his finger to a 
picture on the opened leaves of the Agade. It 
was quaintly and toachiiigly drawn, showing how 
the three angels came to Abraliam, announcing 
that he would have a son by his wife Sara, who, 
meanwhile, urged by feminine curiosity, is listen- 
ing slyly to it all behind the tont-door. This little 
sign caused a threefold blush to rise to the cheeks 
of beautifnl Sara, who looked down, and then 
glanced pleasantly at her husband, who went on 
chanting the wonderful story how Rabbi Jesua, 
Eabbi Eliezer, Eabbi Asaria, Eabbi Akiba, and 
Rabbi Tarphen sat reclining in Bona-Erak, and 
conversed all night long of the Exodus from 
Egypt till their disciples came to tell them it 
was daylight, and that the great morning prayef 
was being read in the synagogue. 



CHAPTER II. 

As Beautiful Sara openeil lier eyes they were 
almost d:izzlml by the rays of the sun. The 
high lowers of a great city rose before her, and 
Silent William stood with his boat-hook upright 
in the canoe, and pushed and guided it through 
the lively crowding of many vessels, gny with 
pennons and streamers, whose crews either looked 
leiaurdy at paaaers-by or were in groups busied 
in loading with chests, hales, and casks the 
lighters which should bear them to the shore, 
aiidwitii it all was a deafening noise, the constant 
halloh cry of steersmen, the calling of traders from 
the shore, and the scolding of the custom-house 
officials wlio, in their red coats witli white macea 
and white faces, jumped from boat to bo:it. 

" Yes, Beautiful Sara," said the Kabbi, cheer- 
fully smiling to hia wife, " this ia the famous, 
free, imperial, and commercinl city of Frankfort- 
on-the-Main, and we are now passing along that 
river. Do you see those pleasant-looking houaea 
up there, surrounded hy green hillocks ? That 
is Sathsenhausen, from wliiih our laTiia Gunipert 
brings us the fine myrrhen for the Feast of the 
Xabernacles. Here tliou see'st the strong Main 
Bridge, with thirteen arches, over which many 
men, waggons, ami horses safely pass, and in the 
middle stands a little house of which Aunty 



n 

h 



THE SABBI OF BACHARACH. 199 

Taubchen says that a baptized Jew Uvea tliere, 
' who pays every man who briiija him a dead rat 
six farthings, on accoiiut of the Jewish comoiu- 
nity, who are obliged to deliver mjiiually to the 
I State council five thousand rats' tails for tribute." 
At the tliought of this war, which tlie Fraiik- 
l-fort Jews were obliged to kefp up with the rats, 
Beautiful Sara burst out laugiun;^'. The bright 
sunh'ght, and the new gay world now before her, 
had driven all the terrors and horrors of the past 
night from her soul, and as she was lifted to land 
from the canoe by Sileot Williiiin and lier husband, 
she felt inspired as with a sense of joyful safety. 

I But Silent William looked long with his beauti- 
ful deep blue eyes into hers, half sadly, half cheer- 
fully, ndid then with a significant glance at the 
Eabbi, sprang back into his boat and disappeared. 
" Silent "William much resembles my brother 
nrho died," said Beautiful Sara. " All the angeh 
«re alike," answered the Rabbi; and taking his 
irife by the hand he led her throiigli the dense 
crowd on the shore, where, as it was the time of 
the Kiater Fair, stood a great number of newly- 
orected wooden booths. Then passing through 
the gloomy Main Gate, tliey found tliemselvea in 
f quite as noisy a multitude. Here in a narrow 

■ street one shop stood close by another, every 
I house, as was usual in Frankfort, being specially 

■ idapted to trade. There were no windows 011 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 

Ijiit still she went on with him in silence, pei^ 
liapa because alio was accustomed to obey blindly 
and unquestioning — peihaps, too, because her lips 
were mute with foar and anxiety. 

Below Castle Sonneclc, opposite Loreh, about 
the pliice where the hamlet of Nieder Eheinbach 
now stands, there rises a cliff whiuh arches out 
over the Kliine haid;. The EahU ascended it 
with his wife, looked around on every side, and |i 
gazed on the stars. Trembling and shivering, as i 
with tlie pain of death, Beautiful Sara looked at I' 
his pnle face, which seemed spectre-like in the 
moon-rays, and seemed to express by turns pain, 
terror, piety, and rage. But when the IJabbi |. 
suddenly snatched from her hands the silver ewer |i 
and threw it far away into the lihine, she could 
no longer endure her agony of uncertainty, and 
crying out, " Schadai, full of mercy I " threw her- 
self at his feet, and conjured him to solve the 
dark enigma. 

Unable at first to speak from excitement, the 
Kabbi moved his lips without uttering a sound, 
till at last he cried, "Dost thou see the Angel of 
Death? Tiiere be-low he sweeps over Bacharacli. 
But we have escaped his sword. Praised be God ! " 
And in a voice still tremliling with excitement 
he told her thnt while he was happily and com- 
fortably singing the Agade he glanced by chance 
under tlie table, and saw at his feet the bloody 



^M THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. igi I 

^P r^rjise of a little chilJ. " Then I knew," con- 
iiiiued the Eabbi, " that our two guesta were not 
of the community of Israel, but of the assembly 
of the godless, who had plotted to bring that 
corpse crafiily into the house bo as to accuse us 
of child-murder, and stir up the people to plunder 
and murder us. Had I given a sign that I saw 
through that work of darkness I should simply 
have brought destruction on the instant to me 
and mine, and only by craft did I preserve our 
lives. Piaised be God ! Grieve not, Beautiful 
Sara. Our relations and friends will also be 
saved. It was only my blood which the wretches 
wanted. I have escaped them, and they will bo 
satisfied with ^ly silver and gold. Come with 
uie. Beautiful Sara, to another land. We will 
leave bad luck behind us, and Uiat it may not 
follow ns I have thrown to it the silver ewer, the 
last of my possessions, as an offering. The God 
of our tatliers will not forsake us, Come down, 
tliou art weary. There is Dumb William stand- 
ing by his boat; he will this morning row us up 
the Rhine." 

Speechless, and as if every limb was broken. 
Beautiful Sara lay in the arms of the Kabbi, 
who slowly bore her to the bank. There stood 
Willinu], a deaf and dumb youth, but yet beautiful 
as a picture, who, to maintain his old foster- 
motlier, who was a neighbour of the Eabbi, waa 



i 



r:/£ RABBI OF BACHARAi 

n fitltArmnn, nnl kept hia boat in i5ii3 pkce. It 
aci<mcd aa it ho hail divined tlie intention o( 
Abr&liam, aini was wniung for liim, tor on hia 
«ilant lii^s there woa an expression ns of sweet 
tvmpAthf and |iily, anil hisgr(?at bhie eyes rested 
H> with ilecp nicanini; on Bcautirul Sura, while 
lifl liftoil her carofiilly into the canoe.' 

The glance »f the silent youth ronsed Beautiful 
Sara from lior Ictharj;}', and sho realised at once 
that all which her huBband liail told lier was do 
mem dream, and a strtMrn of bitter tears poured 
over her cheeks, which wei-e aa whito as her gar- 
ment So slio rested in the canoe, a weeping image 
of whitfl iiiailile, while by her sat her husband 
knd Silent William, who was vowing earnestly. 

Wltctlicr it was owing to the measured beat 
of the oars, or the rocking of the boat, or the 
rr«sh perfuino from the Uhine hanks whereon 
joy grows,' it ever Imppcns that even the moat 
aorrowful hein^ is marvellonsly calmed when 
on a night in spring he is ligbily borne in 
a light ojinno on the dear, clear Khina stream. 
For in truth old, kind-hinrted Father Bhine 
cannot bear that his c]]ildren shall weep, so, 
cnlmiiig their oryinjj, he rocks ihem on hi^ 

' Kalm. TliD Kliine bo«U vm >1m<st in»riftb1y cknne-lika 
(11 forni, u miin;r ■'i^ 't pr«aent. 
' ■" " ■ the vincjwAr 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 193 

trusty arm, and tells them his most beautiful 
stories, and promises them his most golden trea^ 
sures, perhaps tlie old, old, long-sunk Nibelungen 
hoard. Little by little the tears of Beautiful Sara 
ceased to flow; her worst sorrow seemed to be 
washed away by the eddying, whispering waves, 
while the hills about her home bade her the 
tenderest farewell. Most trustingly of all did 
the Kedrich, her favourite, give her a farewell 
greeting ; and it seemed as if far up in the 
strange moonlight, resting on its summit, she saw 
a lady with outstretched arms, while the daring 
dwarfs swarmed out of their caverns in the rocks, 
and a rider came rushing down the rocks in full 
gallop. And Beautiful Sara felt as if she were a 
child again, sitting once more in the lap of her 
aunt from Lorch, who was telling her brave tales 
of the bold knight who freed the stolen damsel 
from the dwarfs, and many other true stories of 
the wonderful Wisperthal " over there," where 
the birds talk as sensibly as any mortals, and of 
Gingerbread Land, where good, obedient children 
go, and of enchanted princesses, singing trees, 
crystal castles, golden bridges, laughing water- 
fairies. . , . But all at once among these plea- 
sant tales which began to send forth sounds of 
music and to gleam with lovely light. Beautiful 
Sara heard the voice of her father, wbo scolded 
the poor aunt for putting such nonsense into the 

N 



304 THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 

Lollectioii. Then the newly-orgnuised guild of 
archers marched by with druinmera aiid pipers, 
and these were folJowed by llie policeman,' who 
cniried a red flag, and led a disorderly mob of 
tr&velling adventuresses, who came from the 
woman's house, known as " the Ass," in Wiirz- 
burg, and were going to Rosendale, wheie the 
highly honourable municipal authority had as- 
signed them their quarters for the fair, "Shut 
your eyes, Sara," said the Rabbi. For indeed 
ihe fantastic crowd of very lightly clad girls, 
among whom were some who were really beauti- 
ful, behaved in a most unbecoming manner, bar- 
ing their bold white breasts, thiiffing those who 
went by with shameless words, and swinging 
their long travelling staves. And as they came 
to the gate of S^iint Katheiine they rode on 
them as children play at riding horses, and sang 
in shrill tones tha witch-song — 

» WliBre is lite goat ? the IielliBli beast j 
Wliere is ihe goat I Ob bring biiii quick I 
And if tlicre is no goat, at leuat 
We'll ride mioa tlie stick." 

This wild sing-song, which rang afar, was losti 
in the long-drawn solemn tones of a church pro- 
cession. It was a mournful train of bare-headed 
and bare-footed monks, who carried burning wax 
tapers, banners with pictures of the saints, and 

' Sl6cler. ConBtalJe in cbarge of tbe Blocks, ic 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACtt. 



Mi 



great silver cnicifixea. Before it ran boys clad 
in red and white gowns, bearing anioking censers 
of frankincense. In the midst, under a splendid 
canopy, were priests in white robes, bedecked 
with costly lace or in many-coloured stoles, and 
one of them held in his hand a sun-like golden 
vessel, which on arriving nt a slirine by the 
market-corner he raised on high, wliile he half- 
eang, half-spoke in Ltitin — when all at once a 
little bell rang, and all around becoming silent 
fell on their kneea and made the sign of the 
Cross. "Shut your eyea, Sara I" cried tlie Eabbi 
again, and hastily drew her away throufjh a laby- 
rinth of narrow and crooked streets, and at last 
over the desolate empty place which separated the 
new Jewish quarter from the rest of the city. 

Before that time the Jews dwelt between the 
Dom or Cathedral and the bank of the Main, that 
is, from the bridge to the Lumpenbrunnen or Eag- 
fuuntain, and from the Mehlwiigo as far aa Saint 
Bartholomew's. But the Catholic priests obtained 
a Papal bull forbidding the Jews to live so near 
the high church, for which reason the magistrntea 
assigned them a place on the Wollgraben, where 
they built their present quarter, This was eur- 
rounded with high walls, and had iron chains 
before the gate to shut them in from the mob, 
Here they lived, crowded and oppressed, and with 
far more vivid memories of previous suffering than 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH, 

at present. lu 1240 the ragiug populace had 
caused an awful "bath of blood" among them, 
wliich was remembered as the first Jewish mas- 
sacre ; anJ ill 1349, wlien the Flaijelknta, while 
passing througli the town, set lire to it, and 
accused the Jews of the deed : the latter were 
nearly all murdered or burned alive in their own 
houses. This was called the second Jewish mas- 
sacre. After this tiio Jews were ottener threat- 
ened with siiiiiliir slaughter, and during the 
iuternal dissensions of Frankfort, especially dur- 
ing a dispute of the council witli the guilds, the 
mob often meant to attack the Jewisii quarter. 
Tliis place had two doors, which on Catholic fes- 
tivals were closed from without and on Jewish 
celebrations from within, and before each gate 
was a watch-house with city soldiers. 

As the Rabbi came with his wife to the 
entrance to the Jewish quarter, the soldiers lay, 
as one coidd see tiirough the open windows, on 
the wooiieu bench of their guard-room, while out 
before l!ie door sat the drummer playing small 
caprices on his great drum. He was a power- 
fully built, heavy fellow, wearing a jerkin and 
hose of fiery yellow, greatly puffed out on the 
arms and thighs, and profusely scattered with 
small red flowing tufts sewed on, which looked 
as if innumerable fiery tongues were licking him 
from bead to toot. His bre;ist and back were 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 



^^B coveted with cusLious uf black clolli, against 
^^m v'hich hun^ liis drum ; lie Lore on his lieitd a Bat, 
^^1 round black ca]i, which waa matched by his face 
^B In roundaess and tlatnesf!, and which was in 
^* keeping with his dress, being also orange-yellow, 
picked out with black pimples, and contracted 
into a gaping smile. So the feilow sat aud 

» drummed the air of a song which the Flagellants 
Lad sung at the Jewish massacre, while be sang, 
in a rough, beery voice — 



" Our dear Lady true 
Wulkud in the morning dew, 
KyrieeleiaonI" 



" Hans, that is a terrible tune," cried a voice 
I from behind the closed gate of the Jewish quarter. 
" Yea, Haijs, and a bad song loo — don't suit the 
drum ; don't Buit at all — by my soul — not the 
lair on Easter morning— bad song — dangerous, 
Jack, Jacky, little diuni-Jacky boy' — I'm a 
lonely man — and if thou lovest me, the Star, 
the tall Star, the tall nose-Star — so stop it!" 

These words were forced out in fragments by 
the unseen speaker, now as in hasty anxiety, 
anon in a sighing drawl, with a tone which 
alternated from softness to harsh hoaiseues3,auch 
as one hears in consumptive people. The drummer 
was not moved, and continued bia song — 

' Jlani-Hclnichcn, ilim TroKimilkHnieJiin, 



A 



aoS THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 

"Tilers came a little youth, 
Hia beard h»d run awav, in truth, 
Uallelujal 

" Jock," sgaia cried the voice of the invisiblv 
speaker, " Jack, I'm a lone tnan, and it is a dan- 
gerous song, and I don't like it; and I have my 

reasons for it, and if you love lue sing something 
else, and to-moirow we will drink together." 

At liie Mord "drink" Jack ce^ised liia drum- 
ming and singing, and said in gentler tone, "The 
devil take tliu Jews! but thou, dear Tiose-Star,' 
ait my friend, I protect thee ; and if we should 
only drink together often enough I will convert 
the& Yea, I will be thy godfather, and when 
baptized thou wilt be eternally happy; and if 
thou hast genius and wilt study industriously 
under me thou mayest even become a ilrummer. 
Yes, Nose-Star, thon mayest yet become some- 
tiiing great I will drum the whole catechism 
into thee when we dtiuk to-morrow together; 
hut now open tlie gate, for here are two strangers 
who wish to enter." 

" Open the gate ' " cried Nose-Star, and hia 
voice almost deserted him, " That can't be done 
in such a hurry, my d^ar Jack; one can't tell — 
don't know, you know — and I'm a lone man. 
Veitel Oxhead has the key, and he is sitting 
now in the corner mumbling hia eighteen-prayer, 
' NaienaUra. Stern a a Eommoa Jcwi.b niinie. 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACII. 209 

and he must not be interrupted. And Jakel 
the Fool is here too, but he is busy ; I'm a lone 
man.** 

" The devil take the Jews ! '* cried the drummer, 
and laughing loudly at this, his own and only 
joke, he trundled himaelf to the guard-room and 
laid down on the bench. 

While the Kabbi waited with his wife before 
the great locked gate, there rose from behind it a 
strangely ringing, nasal, and somewhat mocking 
slow voice. " Starry — don't drone and groan so 
long. Take the keys from Oxheady's coat pockets, 
or else go stick your nose in the keyhole, and so 
unlock the gate. The people have been standing 
and waiting a long time." 

" People ! " cried the voice of Nose Star, as if 
frightened. " I thought there was only one ; and 
I beg you, Fool — dear Jakel Fool — look out and 
see who are there." 

A small, well-grated window in the gate 
opened, and there appeared in it a yellow cap with 
two horns, and the drolly, wrinkled, and twisted 
jest-maker's face of Jakel the Fool. At once the 
window was shut, and he cried angrily, " Open 
the gate — there is only a man and a woman." 

" A man and a wo-man ! " groaned Nose Star. 
" Yes, and when the gate's opened the woman 
will take her gown off, and become a man ; and 
there'll be two men, and we are only three ! '* 



TUK RABBI OF HACHARACH. 



replied Jakel the Fool. 



.citvt ami sliow courage I " 



Tul 



" Courage !" cried Kose Star, with mouriil 
I comparison. 



bitterness. " Hare ! Hare is a bad c 



Tlie bnre is an unclean beast. Courage ! I 
am not put here to be com'a:.;eou3, but cautious. 
Wlien too in.any come I am to call. Hut I alone 
cniinot kccji ihcni bnck. Jly arm is weak, I 
liavi! an issiie-Eore, and I'm a lone man. Should 
one shoot me I should he slain. Then tliat rich 
man, Mendel Iteiss, will sit on the Sabbath at his 
lable, and wipe the raisin-sauce from his mouth, 
and rub his bellj', and iierhaps say, " Tall Nose 
Siar was a hiave Miuw after all; if it hat! not 
been for him perhaps they would have burat 
the gate. He let himself be shot dead for us. 
He was a brave fellow ; pity that he's dead ! " 

Hero the voice became tender and tearful, but 
nil at once it rose to a hasty and almost angry 
trmc. " Courage ! and because the rich Mendel 
Iteiss wipes away the raisiu-sauce from his mouth, 
and pats liis belly, and calls me a brave fellow, 
I'm to let mysull' be shot dead ! Courage ! Ea 
brave ! Little Strauss was brave, and yesterday 
went to the libmer to see the tilting, and thought 
they would not know hiiii because lie wore a 
frock of violet velvet — three fioiins a yard — 
with fox-tails all embroidered with gold— quite 
magnificent ; and they dusted his violet frock 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. iii 

for bim till it lost its colour, and liis own back 
became violft and did not look human. Courage, 
indeed I The crooked, crippled Leser was cour- 
ageous, and called our blackguardly chief magia- 
Itrato a blackguard, and they hung hiui up by 
tlie feet between two dog3 while Jack drummed, 
Coura^'e ! Don't be a hare! Among many dog3 
tba hnre is killed. I'm a lone man, and I am 
really afraid." 
" That I'll Bweav to," cried Jiikel. 
" Yes ; I have fear," replied Ifoaa Star, sigli- 
ing. "I know that it runs in my blood, and I 
liad it i'roui my mother " 
"Ay, ay," interrupted Jakel, "and your 
mother had it from her futber, and he from hia, 
«nd BO all tliy ancestors one from the other, back 
to the forefather who mai'cbed with King Saul 
against the Philistines, and was the first to nin 
away. But look ! Oxheady is all ready — he 
lias bowed liis head for the fourth time; now he 
is jumping like a flea at the Holy, Holy, Holy, 
and seeking cautiously in his pocket." 

In fact the keys rattled, the gate grated and 
creaked as it opened, and the Eabbi imd his wife 
entered the empty Judeneasse or Jews' Lane. The 
man who opened was a little fellow with a good- 
natured grira face, who nodded absently, like ono 
kwho did not like to be disturbed in his thougbta, 
and when he had carefully closed tbe portal, 



TUB RABBI OF BACllARACII. 

slipped without saying a word into a corner, 
raunnuring his prayers. Less taciturn was Jiikel 
tlie Fool, a short fellow with curved legs, a full 
blooming, red, and laughing face, and an enormous 
leg-of-mutton Imud, which he stretched out of 
tlie wide sleeve of his chequered jacket in wel- 
come. Behind him a iall, lean figure showed or 
rather hid itself — the slender neck white feathered 
with a fine cambric ruff, and the thin pale face 
strangely adorned with an incredibly long nose, 
which anxiously peered about in everj- direction. 
" God's welcome to a pleasant fenst-day ! " cried 
Jakel the Fool. " Do nut he astonished that the 
lane is so empty and silent just now, Al! our 
people are in the syuagogue, and you are come 
just in the right time to hear the history of the 
sacrifice of Isaac. I know it — 'tis an interesting 
tale, and if I had not heard it before, thirty- 
three times, I would willingly hear it again this 
year. And — mind you ! — 'tis an important his- 
tory, for if Abraham had really killed Isaac and 
not the goat, then there would have been more 
goats in the world now — and fewer Jews." And 
tlien, with mad and merry grimaces, Jakel began 
to sing the following song from the Agade : ^ — 

' Thii prototype of "Tha Houbb thftt JaclcBoilt" iBpretnimed 
tn be a hyniD in Seder Hagadah, fol. 23. The historical inter- 
prttatioD, wijs Mrs. Valentine, who hae reproduced it io bet 
Niireer; Rhymea, was first given by F. N. Leberecht at Leipaio 
in 173r, ami is printed in the ChrSitian Htformtr, lol, ivit 



two I 



THB RABBI OF BACHARACH. 



"A kid, a kiJ, wliich my father bought for 



Lkici! 



I kid! 



I 



pieces 01 money. 

" Tliere came a cat wlikh ate the kid, which my 
father bought for two pieces of mouey. A kid 1 

" 'I'liere came a dog, who bit the cat, who ate 
the kid, which my father houglit for two piecea 
of mouey. A kid I 

"There came a stick, which beat the dog, who 
hit the cat, who ate the kid, wliich my father 
bought for two pieces of money. A kid I A kid ! 

"There ciime a fire, which burnt the stick, 
which beat the dog, who bit tlie ciit, who ate the 
kid, which my father bought for two pieces of 
money. A kid ! A kid I 

" There came the water, which quenched tho 
fire, which burnt tlie stick, which beat the dog, who 

p. sE, The origina] ia in Chaldee. It a througbout an alle- 
gory. Tha kid, une at the pure anima.lB, deuutea lerael. TUe 
Fatter by whom it wag pnrohaaed ia Jehovah ; the two pieces 
of tnoney Bipi\ty Moaea and Aatoti. The cat means tha 
Aaayrians, the diig the Babjloniau', the ataS the Peraiaoa, thu 
fire tbe Grecian Empire under Alexander tbe Great. Tilt water 
betoken! the Roman or the fourth of the great monaccbies to 
(vhora doniinioti the Jeii's were Bubjected. The ox U a Bjmbol 
of the Sarncena, who anbdued Falestiae ; tlie butcher that killed 
the (U[ denotes the erusaderg \>j whom the Holy Land was 
taken from the Sacaoene ; tha Angel of Death the Turkiah power 
to which FalcatiUB ia atill aubject. Tbe tenth stanza ia deaigiied 
to ehow that God will take aipnnl vengeance uu tbe Turku, and 
restore the Jews to their own land. 

' Siulcin. In Heine'a veraioQ, every noim In this aoag 
the diminutive /ein, aa Vaierltia, "little fatber," Boelc' 



^^K Uin. Hundtein, &c. 



ai4 THE RABBI OF BACHARACII. 

bit Uie cat, wlio ato the kid, whicli my father 
bouglit for two pieues ot mouey. A kid I A kid I 

"There came aii ox, who drauk tlie water, 
wliicli quenched tlie fire, which hurnt the stielc, 
wiiiuh heat the dog, who bit tlie cat, who ate the 
kid, which my father hoiight for two pieces of 
mouey. A kid ! Aliid! 

" There came the hutcher,' who slew the ox, 
who drank the water, wliich quenched the fire, 
which burnt the stick, which beat the dog, wlio 
bit the cat, thnt ate the kid, which mj father 
bought for two pieces of mouey. A kid ! A kid 1 

"Then camo the Angel of Death,' who slew 
the butcher, who killed the ox, who drank the 
water, wiiich quenched ihe fire, which burnt tlie 
stick, wliich beat the dog. who bit the eat, who 
ate the kid, which my father bought for two 
pieces of luoney. A kid ! kid ! " ^ 

"Yes, beautiful lady," added the singer, "and 
the dny will come when the Angel of Death 

* Schoehft, butcher, muaniiig the CruHOderB. Jewn in repeat- 
ing this in Engliah or German retain this Hehrew wori]. 

• i/aiac* Uammami, the AtiyBl of Death. This in alaa 
generilly Bivm in Hebrew. There ih ■great owe attached to 
the aiuae which {jives a peculinr dignitj to tbis rene. — rrani' 
l«ior. 

' Tliere is a cmcluding verse whieh Heine Iieui omitted. 
"Tlien came the Hoi; Ooc of Israel— blesBed be he— and Blew 
the Angel of Death, who," &e. Heine goes virju! ad arm, tjut 
Ui. lmt\ur.—Trm.ilator. 



J 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 215 

will slay the slayer, and all our blood come over 
Edoni, for God is a God of vengeance.'* 

But all at once, casting aside with violent 
effort the seriousness into which he had uncon- 
sciously fallen, Jakel jumped again into his mad 
fancies, and kept on in his harsh jester tones, 
" Don't be afraid, beautiful lady, N"ose Star will 
not harm you. He is only dangerous to the old 
Schriapper-EUe. She has fallen in love with his 
nose — aud, faith ! it deserves it. Yea, for it is 
beautiful as the tower which looketh forth to- 
wards Damascus, and riseth like a cedar of 
Lebanon. Outwardly it gleameth like gold lenf 
aud syrup, and inwardly it is all music and 
loveliness. It bloometh in summer and in 
winter it is frozen up — but in summer and 
winter it is petted and pulled by the white 
hands of Schnapper-Elle. Yes, she is madly in 
love with him. She cuddles him, she fuddles 
and fodders him ; for her age he is young 
enough. When he is fat enough she means to 
marry him ; and whoever comes to Frankfort, 
three hundred years hence, will not be able to 
see the heavens for Nose Stars." 

" Ah, you are Jakel the Fool," exclaimed the 
Rabbi, laughing. " I mark it by your words. 
I have often heard of you." 

" Yes — yes," replied Jakel, with a comical air 
of modesty. " Yes, that comes of being famous, 



2i6 THE RABBI OP BACHARACH. 

A man is often celebrated far and wide for being 
a bigger fool than he has any idea of". However, 
I take great pains and do my very best to be a fool, 
and jnmp and shake myself to make the bells 
ring ; other people manage it more easily. But 
tell me, Eabbi, why do ye journey on a feast- 
day ? " 

" My justification/* replied the Eabbi, ** is in 
the Talmud, and it says, 'Danger drives away 
the Sabbath.' " 

" Danger I " screamed the tall Nose Star, with 
an air of deadly terror. " Danger ! danger ! 
Drummer Jack ! — drum, drum. Danger ! dan- 
ger ! Drummer Jack ! " 

From without resounded the deep beery voice 
of Drummer Jack, " Tauseiid donner sacrament / 
The devil take the Jews. That's the third time 
to-day that you've woke me out of a sound sleep. 
Nose Star ! Don't make me mad ! For when 
I am mad I'm the howling old devil himself; 
and then as sure as I'm a Christian I'll up with 
my gun and shoot slap through the grated 
window of your tower — and then it'll be, old 
fellow, everybody look out for his nose ! " 

"Don't shoot! don't shoot! I'm a lonely 
man," wailed Nose Star piteously, and pressed 
his face against the wall, and remained trembling 
and murmuring prayers in this position. 

" But say, what has happened ? " cried Jiikel 



I 



'^Sb rabbi of bacharach. 

the Fool, with all the impatient curiosity wliiohwaa 
even tbeu clmntcteristic of the Frankfort Jews. 

But the Rabbi iiup,atiently broke lonsa from 
them, and went his way along the Jews' Street. 
" See, Snra ! " he exclaimed, " how badly guarded 
is our Israel. False friends guard its gates with- 
out, and withiu its watchers are folly and fear." 

They wandered alowly through the long and 
empty streets, where only here and there the head 
of some bright young girl looked out of a window, 
while the sun mirrored itself in the brilliant panes. 
In those days the houses in tlie Jewish quarter 
were still neat and new, and much lower than 
they now are, since it was only at a later time 
that the Jews, as their number greatly increased, 
iiltliough tliey could not enlarge their quarter, 
built one storey over another, squeezed them- 
selves together like sardines, and so cramped 
themselves both in body and soul.' Tliat part 
of tlie Jewish quarter which remained alter tbe 
great fire, and which is called the Old Lane — 
tliat series of high, grimly dark houses, where a 
strangely grimacing, damp race of people bar- 
gains and chaffers, is a horrible relic of the 
Middle Ages, The older synagogue exists no 

' It in rdinBrkable that in Amarici a narrow-minded, mean 

nan I> colled s. sardine. "A man who hae n«ver travelleU, and 

bai all hiB life been pncked tightly nmong those who were hii 

equals in ignorance and inexperience, a therefure culliid a lar* 

■ {Tht Bnilmann Ballads). 



9iS THE RAUBl OF BACHARACU. 

more; it was less CHpacious tlian the present one, 
built later, ufter tlie Nuremberger exiles catjie 
into the community. It lay more to the north. 
The liabbi lind no need to nsk his way. He 
found it from afar by the buzz oE niany voices 
often raised aloud. In the court of tlie House 
of God he parted from his wife, and nfler wash- 
ing his bauds at the fountain there, entered 
the lower part of the aynngogiio 'ivhere the men 
piay, while Sara went up a flight of stairs and 
cnioe into the phice reserved for women. 

Tills upper portion was a kind of gallery with 
three rows of scnts painted of a leiidisii browu, 
whose backs were fiited in a manner very con- 
venient for placing the prayer-books, with a hang- 
ing board. Heie the women snt gossiping together 
nr standing up in deep prayer. However, they 
often went and peered with curiosity through the 
large gratingwliich was on the eastern 3ide,tlirough 
the Lbin green lattice of which one could look 
down into the lower portion of the synagogue. 
There, behind high prnying-desks, stood the 
men in their black cloaks, their pointed beards 
sbooting out over white lufTs, and their skuil- 
rapped heads more or less conci^alcd by a four- 
cornered scarf of white wool or silk, furnished 
with the prescribed tassels, in some instances 
also adorned with gold lace. The walla of the 
synagogue were simply white-washed, and no 



_J 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 219 

other ornament was to be seen except the 
gilded iron grating on the square stage, where 
the extracts from the Law were recited, and 
the holy coffer, a costly embossed chest, appa- 
rently upheld by marble columns with rich 
Capitols, whose flower and leaf-work flourished 
charmingly, covered with a curtain of violet vel- 
vet, on which a pious inscription was worked 
iu gold spangles, pearls, and many-coloured gems. 
Here hung the silver memorial-lamp, and there 
also rose a barred dais, on whose crossed iron bars 
were all kinds of sacred utensils, among the rest 
the seven-branched candlestick ; while before it, 
his countenance towards the chest, stood the 
choir-leader or chief singer, whose song was 
accompanied as if iustrumentally by the voices 
of his two assistants, the bass and soprano. 
The Jews have forbidden all instrumental music 
to be used in their Church, thinking that hymns 
to God are more true in spirit or edifying when 
they rise from the glowing breast of man, than 
from the cold pipes of an organ. Beautiful Sara 
was charmed like any child when the chief 
singer, an admirable tenor, raised his voice, and 
the ancient, deep, and solemn melodies which she 
knew so well bloomed forth in a fresher loveli- 
ness than she had ever dreamed of, while the 
bass murmured in harmony the deep dark notes, 
while in the pauses the soprano trilled sweetly 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 

and daintily. Such singing BeautiM Sam had 
never heard iu the synagogue of Bacliarach, 
where the public superintendent, David Levi, 
was the leader; and when this elderly trembling 
man, with his broken baa-ing voice, would try to 
trill like a girl, and in his desperate effort to do 
so shook his weak and drooping arm feverishly, 
it rather inspired laughter than devotion. 

A something of devotedness, uot uumingled 
with feminine curiosity, drew Beautiful Sara to 
the gratinjr, where she could look down into the 
lower division, or Uie so-called men's school. 
She had nevtr before seen so many of her fuith 
together, and it cheered her htait to be in sucli 
a multitude of those so nearly allied by race, 
lliooght, and sufierings. And her soul was still 
more deeply moved when three old men rever- 
entially approached tJie sacred repository, un- 
locked tiie chest, drew aside the glittering curtaiu, 
and very carefully brought forth the Book which 
God ouce wrote with Hia own hand, and to main- 
tain whicli the Jews have suffered so much — so 
much misery and hate, disgrace and death — a 
thousand years' martyrdom. Tiiis Book — a great 
roll of parchment — was wrapped like a princely 
child in a gaily embroidered scarlet velvet cloak ; 
above, on both the wooden rollers, were two little 
silver shrines, in which many pomegranates and 
small bells moved and rang prettily, while before, 



THE RABBI OF DACHARACII. us 

on a silver chain, hung gold shieldti with many 
coloured gems. The chief singer took the Book, 
anJ, as if it had been really a child — ;i child for 
whom one has greatly suffered, and whom we love 
all the more on that account — he rocked it in his 
arras, skipped with it here and there, pressed it to 
his breast, and, like one inspired by a holy touch, 
broke forth into such a devout hyma of praise and 
thanksgiving that it seemed to Beautiful Sara as 
if tlie pillars of the holy shrine began to bloom, 
and the strange and lovely blossonjs and leaver 
of the capitoU shot ever higher, and the notes of 
the treble were changed to niglilingales, while 
the arch of the synagogue was shattered by the 
tremendous tones of tlie hass finger, and the joy 
and splendour of God gleamed down nnd through 
from the blue heavens. Yes, it was a heautilul 
psalm. The congregation saug over as in chorus 
the concluding verse, and the chief sinper walked 
slowly to the raised platform in the middle of 
the synagogue bearing the holy Book, while men 
and boys crowded hastily about him to kiss its 
velvet covering or even to touch it. Whan on 
I tlie platform, the velvet cover as well as the 
wrappings covered with illuminated letters were 
1 removed, and the chief singer, in the peculiar 
[ intonation which in the Passover service is still 
I more peculiarly sounded, read the edifying nar* 
I rative of the temptation of Abraham. 



THE RABBI OP BACHARACII. 

Beautiful Sara had modestly withdrawn from 
llie grating, and a stout, mucli ornamented woman 
of middle age, with a self-asserting, fonvard, 
good-natured aspect, had with a nod allowed her 
to read iu company in her prayer-book. This 
lady was evidently no great scholar, for as siie 
lead with a murmuring voice the prayers as the 
women do, not being allowed to take part in the 
sitiging, Saia observed that she made the best 
she could of many words, and omitted not a few 
good passages altogether. But after a while the 
watery blue eyea of t!ie good woman were 
lanj;uidly raised, au insipid smile gleamed over 
her red and white china-ware face, iiTid in a 
voice wliich she strove to malce as genteel as 
possible, she snid to Beautiful Sara, " He sings 
very well. But I have henrd far better singing 
in Holland. You are a str;inger, and perhaps do 
not know that the chief sinyer is from Worms, 
nnd that they will keep him here if he will 
be content with four hundred florins a year. He 
is a chnrming man, and his hands are as white 
as alabaster. I think a great deal of a hand- 
some hand; it makes one altogether hand- 
some " — saying which, the good Indy laid her 
own hand, which was really a fine one, on the 
shelf before Ijer, and with a polite bow which 
intimated that she did not care to be interrupted 
while speaking, she added, " Tlie little singe?^ 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 223 

a mere child, and looks veiy much worn out. 
The basso is too ugly for anytliing, and our Star 
once said — it was very witty of him — * The bass 
singer is a bigger fool than even a basso is 
expected to be ! * All three eat in my restaur- 
ant — perhaps you don't know that I'm EUe 
Schnapper ? ** 

Beautiful Sara expressed her thanks for the 
information, when Schnapper EUe proceeded to 
narrate in detail how she had once been in 
Amsterdam, how she had been subjected to base 
designs on account of her remarkable beauty, 
liow she had come to Frankfort three days before 
Pentecost and married Schnapper, how he had 
passed away, and what touching things he had 
eaid on his deathbed, and how hard it was to 
carry on the business of a cook-shop and keep 
one's hands nice. Several times she glanced aside 
with contemptuous looks, apparently directed 
at some giggling girls, who were apparently quizz- 
ing her clothes. Truly this dress was remark- 
able enough — a very much puffed gown of white 
satin, on which all the animals of Noah's Ark 
were embroidered in gaudy colours ; a jacket of 
cloth of gold like a cuirass, the sleeves of red 
velvet, yellow slashed ; an immensely hiiih cap 
on her head, with a mighty ruff of stiff white 
linen round her neck, which also bore a silver 
chain, to which hung all kinds of coins, cameos^ 



TUB RABBt OF BACHARACH. 

and curiositiea, cliieE among which was a great 
image of the city of Amsterdam, which rested on 
her bosom.^ 

But the dresses of the other women were not 
less remnrkable. They consisted of a medley of 
fasliions of di(fi;rent nges, and many a. little 
woman there was so covered with gold and 
diamonds as to look like a wandering jeweller's 
shop. It is true that there was a faahion of 
dress prescribed by law to the Frankfort Jews, 
and to distinguish them from Christians the men 
mtist wear yellow rings on their cloaks, while 
the women bore very hi.i^h standing, blue striped 
veils on tlieir caps. However, in the Jewish 
quarter these laws were little looked after, and 
there, especially on Sundays, and in the syna- 
gogue, the women put on aa much magnificent 
apparel aa they could — partly to be envied of 
others, and partly to advertise the wealth and 
standing of their Imsbands. 

Meanwhile, as passages from the laws of Moses 
were being read from the Book of Moses, the 
devotion somewhat lulled. Many made them- 
selves comfortable and sat down, whispering 
perhaps business affairs with a friend, or went 

' TheBE eccentrio oraamenta, repraaenting ciliai, »ea-figlitM, 
men on horsebach, &c, inny be gcen nccnainnatly in euricBitf 
shops and rauseuiUB. They are iometimaB verj Isrgo indeed, 
and few ironld imngine that tbey were intundeil far penCRttl 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 225 

out into the court to get a little fresh air. Small 
boys took the liberty of visiting their mothei-s 
in the women's apartment ; and here worship was 
still more loosely observed, as there was gossip- 
ing, cluttering together or laughing, while, as 
will always happen, the young quizzed the elder, 
while the latter blamed the light-headedness of 
the girls and the general degeneracy of the age. 
And just as there was a chief singer iii the place 
below, so was there a head-cackler and gossip in 
the one above. This was Puppy Eeiss,^ a shallow, 
buxom woman, who had an inkling of every 
trouble, and always liad a scandal on hor tongue. 
The usual butt of her pointed sayings was the 
poor Schnapper EUc, and she could mock right 
well the aflfected genteel airs and languishing 
manner with which the latter accepted the mock- 
ing compliments of young men. 

"Do you know," cried Puppy Reiss, "that 
Schnapper EUe said yesterday, 'If I were not 
beautiful and clever, and beloved, I had rather 
not live.'" 

Then there was a loud tittering, and Schnapper 
Elle, who was not far distant, noting that this was 
all at her expense, lifted her nose in scorn, and 
sailed away like a proud galley to some further 
place. Then Birdie Ochs, a plump and somewhat 
awkward lady, remarked compassionately that 

^ HUndchen Reiss. 

P 



aa6 THE RABBI OF BACHARACH, 

■ScliiiappcT E.le miglit bo a little vain aud snail 
of mind, but tliat gIiq wn3 no honest, generous 
soul, and did niucli good to many fulk in need. 

" Paiticularly to Nuse Star," suapptd Puppy 
Reiss. And all who knew of tliU tender tie 
laughed all the louder. 

" Don't yon know," added Puppy apitetullyj 
" that Nose Star now sleeps in Schnapper EUe's 
house ! But just look nt Susy rifiraheiui 
down there, wearing the necklai'e which Daniul 
Fliisch pawned to her husband I Fliisch's wife 
ia vexed nt it — that is pLiiii, And now she is 
talking to Mrs. FlSrsheini, Horn amiably tliey 
shake hands ! — and hate one another like Midian 
and Moab! How sweetly they smile on one 
another! Oh, you denr souls, rfon'i eat one 
another up out of pure tenderness! PIl just 
stonl up and listen to them !" 

And so, like a sneaking wild cat, Puppy Eeiss 
Btole a1on^' and heard ihe two women mutually 
bewailing to one another how they had worked 
all Ihii past wei-'k to clean up the Louse and 
scour the kituhen things, and all they had to do 
before Passover, bo that not a crumb of leavened 
bread stuck to anything. And such troubles as 
they had baking the unleavened bread 1 Mrs. 
Fliisch had bitter griefs over this — for she had 
no end of trouble over it in the public bakery, 
for according to the ticket which she drew she 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 227 

couLl not bake there till the afternoon of the 
very last day, just before Passover Eve ; and then 
old Hannah had kneaded the dough badly, and 
the niaLIa had rolled it too thin, and half of it 
was scorched in baking, and worst of all, rain 
came pouring through the bake-house roof, and 
so wet and weary they had to work till late in 
the night. 

" And, my dear Mrs, FlOrsheim," said Mrs. 
yiasch, with gracious friendliness most insincere, 
" you were a little to blame for that, because you 
did not send your people to help nie in baking." 

" Ah 1 pardon," replied the other, " My 
servants were so busy — the goods for the fair 
h id to be packed — my husband " 

" Yes. I know," said Mrs. Fiasch, with cut- 
ting irony in her speech. " I know that you have 
much to do — many pledges and a good business, 
and necklaces " 

And a bitter word was just about to glide 
from the lips of the speaker, and Dame Florsheim 
had turned as red as a lobster, when Puppy Eeiss 
cried out loudly, " For God's sake ! — the strange 
lady lies dying — water 1 water I " 

Beautiful Sara lay insensible, pale as death, 
while a swarm of women, busy and bewailing, 
crowded round her. One held her head, another 
her arm, some old women sprinkled her with 
the glasses of water which hung behind their 



«>8 



TUB RABBI OF BACHARACII. 



prayer desks for wasliing the lianda in case 
ihcy Bhould by accident touch th<?ir own bodies. 
Others held uuder her nose an uld Iciiion stuck 
full of spices, wliicli remained from the last 
feast-day, when it bad served for smelllDg and 
etreogtliening the nerves. Exhausted aud sigh- 
ing deeply, BeantiCiil Sara at lost opened her 
vyea, and witli nmte glances thanked them for 
llieir kind care. But now the eighteenth prayer, 
which no one dare neglect, was heard in thrilling 
Eoiuid hi-low, and the busy women hurried hack 
to their phices and offered the prayer as the rite 
onJniiis, standing up with their faces turned 
towards the east, which is that part of the 
heavens where Jerusalem lies. Birdie Ochs, 
Schiiapper Elle, and Puppy Eeisa stayed to tl;e 
last by Beautiful Sara — the first two to aid her 
as much BS possible, the latter to find out why it 
was that she fainted so suddenly. 

Beautiful Sara had swooned from a singular 
cause. It is a custom in the synagogue that 
any one who has escaped a great danger shaJl, after 
the reading of the extracts from the Law, appear 
in piibUc and return thanks for his Divine de- 
liverance. As Rabbi Abraham rose in the multi- 
tude to make his prayer, and Beautiful Sara 
recognised her husband's voice, she also observed 
Ilow its accents gradually subsided into the 
mournful niurmnr of the prayer for the dead. She 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. zvi 

heard tiie names of her dear ones and relatifns, 
accompanied by th8 words which convey the 
blessing on the departed; nnd the List ho]ie 
vanished from her soul, for it was torn by the 
certainty that tliose dear ones had really been 
slain, that her little niece was dead, that her little 
cousins with flowers and birds were dead, that 
little Gottschalk was dead too. All murdered 
and dead. And she too would have died from 
the agony of this conviction, had not a kind 
Bwoon poured forgetfulness over her soul. 



CHAPTER THIRD. 

"Ween Beautiful Sara, after divine service was 
ended, went down into the courtyard of the syna- 
gogue, the Rabbi stood there waiting for her. Hs 
nodded to her with a cheerful expression, and 
accompanied her out into the street, where there 
was no longer silence but a noisy multitude. It 
was like a stream of ants, what with bearded 
men in black coats, women gleaming along like 
gold-chafers, boys in new clothes carrying prayer- 
books after their parents, young girls who, because 
they could not enter the synagogue, now came 
bounding to their parents, bowing tlieir curly 
heads to ri;ceive tlieir blessings — all gay and 
merry, and walking about with the happy antioi- 



pationa oE people exjtectiiig a good dinner, the 
exquisite scent of which — cnusing tiie mouth to 
water — rose fi'orii many LIntk pots and covers 
carried by smiling girls from the great public 
bakery. 

In this muUitude there ^as specially to bo 
remarked the form of a Spanish cavalier, whose 
youthful features bore timt fascinating pallor 
which latlies generally associate with nn mifor- 
lunate— and nien, on the contrary, with a very 
fortunate — love ail'air. His gait, naturally care- 
less, had however in it a somewhat affected 
mincing daintiness; the feathers of his cap were 
more agitated by the aristocratic waving of his 
head than by the wind; and his golden spurs, and 
tlic jewelled <;uard of his sword, which he bore on 
liis arm, rattled rather move than was needed. A 
white cavalier's cloak enveloped his slender limbs 
in an apparently careless manner, which, however, 
bftrayed the most careful arrangement of the 
folds. Passing and repassing, partly with curio- 
sity, partly with an air of a connoisseur, he ap- 
proached the women walking by, looked calmly 
at them, paused when he thought a face was 
wortli the trouble, gave to many a pretty girl a 
passing compliment, and wont his way heedless a.» 
to its effect. He had met Beautiful Sara more 
than once, but seemed to be repelled every time by 
her commanding look, or the enigmatical smiling 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 2U 



J' 



kit of her husband, but at last, proudly subduing 
all diffidence, he boldly faced both, and with 
foppish confidence made in a tenderly gallant 
tone the following speech: — 

" I swear, Senora ! — list to me ! — I swear — by 
the roses of both the kingdoms of Castile, by the 
Aragonese hyacinths and the pomegranate blossoms 
of Andalusia! by the sun which illumines all 
Spain, with all its flowers, onions, pea-soups, 
forests, mountains, mules, he-goats, and Old 
Christians ! by the canopy of lieaven, of which 
this sun is the golden tassel ! and by the God 
who sits on the roof of heaven and meditates day 
and night over the creation of new forms of lovely 
women! — I swear that you, Senora, are the 
fairest dame whom I have seen in all the German 
realm, and if you please to accept my service, 
then I pray of you the favour, grace, and leave 
to call myself your knight and bear your colours 
henceforth in jest cr earnest ! " 

A flush as of pain rose in the face of Beautiful 
Sara, and with one of those glances which are the 
most cutting from the gentlest eyes, and with a 
tone such as is bitterest from a beautiful voice, 
the lady answered as one deeply hurt: — 

" My noble lord, if you will be my knight 
you must fight whole races, and in the battle 
there will be little thanks to win and less 
honour; and if you will wear my colours, then 



232 THE HADDl OF BACHARACIT. 

you must sew yellow rings on your cloak, oi 
bind you with a blue-striped scarf, for such are 
my colours — the colours of my house, the House 
of Israel, which is wretched indeed, one mocked 
in the streets by the sons of good fortune." 

A sudden purple red shot into the cheeks of 
the Spaniard ; an inexpressible confusion seemed 
to seize him as he stammered — 

" Senora, you misunderstood me. An inno- 
cent jest — but, by God, no mockery, no jest at 
Israel. I myself am sprung from that house ; 
ray grandfather was a Jew, perhaps even my 
father." 

"And it is very certain, Senor, that your 
uncle is one," suddenly exclaimed the Babbi, 
who had calmly witnessed this scene; and with 
a merry quizzical glance he added, " And I my- 
self will be bound that Don Isaac Abarbanel, 
nephew of the great Eabbi, is sprung from the 
best blood of Israel, if not from the royal race of 
David ! " 

The chain of the sword rattled under the 
Spaniard's cloak, his cheeks became deadly white, 
his upper lip twitched as with scorn in which 
there was pain, ami angry death grinned in his 
eyes as in an utterly changed, ice-cold, keen 
voice he said : — 

" Senor Eabbi, you know me. Well, then, 
you know also who I am. And if the fox 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 233 

knows that I belong to the blood of the lion, let 
him beware and not bring his fox-beard into 
danger of death, nor provoke my anger. Only 
he who feels like the lion can understand his 
weakness." 

" Oh, I understand it well," answered the 
Eabbi, and a mournful seriousness came over his 
brow. " I understand it well, how the proud 
lion, out of pride, casts aside his princely hide 
and goes mumming in the scaly armour of a 
crocodile, because it is the fashion to be a 
grinning, cunning, greedy crocodile ! What can 
you expect the lesser beasts to be when the 
lion denies his nature ? But beware, Don Isaac, 
thou wert not made for the element of the 
crocodile. For water — thou knowest well what 
I mean — is thy evil fortune, and thou wilt 
perish. Water is not thy element ; the weakest 
trout can live in it better than the king of the 
forest. Hast thou forgotten how the eddy of the 
Tagus would swallow thee ? '* 

Bursting into loud laughter, Don Isaac sud- 
denly threw his arms round the Eabbi's neck, 
covered his mouth with kisses, leapt with jing- 
ling spurs high into the air, so that the Jews 
who were passing by shrank back in alarm, and 
in his own natural hearty and joyous voice 
cried — 

** Truly thou art Abraham of Bacharach ! And 



SH THE RABBI OF BACHARACII. 

it was a gooJ joke, and more Uian that, a friendly 
net, wht'n thou — in Toledo — didst leap from ihe 
Alcantara bridge iuto the water, and gmsp l>y tbe 
liiiir tby friend, who could drink letter than ho 
could swim, and drew him to dry land. I was veiy 
near making really deep research whether there 
is aclually gold ill the sands of the Tnqtis, and 
vhotljer thu Komans were right in calling it ihe 
golden river. I assure you tliat I shiver evea 
now from only thinking of that water-jKiity." 

Saying lliia the Spaniard made a gesture as if 
he were shaking water from liis garmenta. Tlio 
countenance of the I'ahbi expressed great joy at 
he again and again pressed his frit-ud's hand, 
Baying every time — 

" I am indeed fzhid." 

'■And BO inilotd am I," answered tlie other. 
" It is seven yeai-s now since we met, and when 
we parted I was as yet only a little greenhorn, 
and thou — thou wert already bo staid and serious, 
r.nt whatever became of the beautiful Donna who 
in those days cost thee so many sighs, which 
tlion didst accompany with the lute?" 

" Hush, hush 1 the Dunna hears us — she is 
my wife, and thou hast thyself given her to-day 
a jroof of tliy taste ami poetic skill," 

It was uot without some trace of bis former 
embarrassment that the Spaniard greeted the 
beautiful lady, who amiably regretted that she. 



THE RABBI OP BACHARACH. 23^ 

by expressing herself so plainly, had pained a 
friend of her husband. 

" Ah, Senora," replied Don Isaac, " he who 
grasps too snappishly at a rose must not com- 
plain that the thorns scratch. When the star of 
evening mirrors itself, gold-gleaming, in the azure 
flood " 

"For God's sake!" interrupted the Eabbi, 
" cease ! If we wait till the star of evening 
mirrors itself, gold-gleaming in the azure flood, 
my wife will starve, for she has eaten nothing 
since yesterday, and suffered much meantime." 

" Well, then, I will take you to the best cook- 
shop of Israel," said Don Isaac, " to the house of 
my friend Schnapper Elle, which is not far away. 
I already smell the sweet perfume of the kitchen ! 
Oh, didst thou but know, Abraham, how this 
perfume woos and wins me. This it is which, 
since I have dwelt in this city, has so often lured 
me to the tents of Jacob. Intimacy with God's 
peculiar people is not a weakness of mine, and 
tru'y it is not to pray but to eat that I visit the 
Jews' Street." 

" Thou hast never loved us, Don Isaac." 

"Well," continued the Spaniard, "I like 
your cookery much better than your creed — 
which wants the right sauce. I really never 
could rightly digest you. Even in your best 
days, under the rule of my ancestor David, who 



«3fi 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. 



was king over Judali and Israel, I never could 
liavG held out, and certainly I should some fine 
morning liave nm awa^ from Mount Zion niii 
emigrated to Pliopnicia or Babylon, wliere llie 
joys of life foamed in the temple of the gods." 

"Thou blasplicmest, Isaac, blasphemest the 
one God," murmured the Ilabbi grimly. "Thou 
ail much worse than a Christian — thon art a 
heathen, a servant of idols." 

" Yes, I am a heathen, and the melancholy aelf- 
lormenting Nazarenes are quite as little to my 
taste as the dry and joyless Hebrews. May our 
dear Lady of Sidon, holy Aatarte, forgive me, that 
I kneel before the many sorrowed Mother of the 
Crucified and pray. Only my knee and my tongue 
worship death — my heart remains true to life." 

" But do not look so sourly," continued the 
Spaniard, as he saw how little gratification liia 
speech seemed to give the Babbi. "Do not look 
at me with disdain. My nose is not a renegade. 
When I once by chance came at dinner time 
into this street, and the well-known savoury 
odours of the Jewish kitcJieu rose to my nose, 
I was seized by the same yearning which our 
fathers felt for the fleshpots of E^ypt — pleasant 
tasting memories of youth came unto me. I 
saw again in spirit the carp with brown raisin 
sauce which my aunt prepared so sustainingly 
for Friday eve — I saw once more the 



1 



I 

I 



THE RABBI OF BACHARACH. ^zT 

rtnuttoii with garlic and horse-radish which might 
raise the dead, and the soup with dreamily awim- 
miiig force-meat balls — the Klosschen — and my 
lelted like the notes of an enamoured 
nightingale — and since then I eat in the cook- 
phop of my friend Donna Schiiapper Elle." 

Meanwhile ihey had arrived at the place so 
highly praised, where Schnapper Elle stooil at 
the door greeting in a friendly manner ilie 
strangers come to the fair, wlio, led hy hun;:er, 
streamed in. Eu-hind, and putting forth liis 
liund over her shoulder, was the tall Nosq 
Star, anxiously and inquisitively observing thi'in. 
Eon Isnac approached the landlady with exag- 
rgerated grand style, who returned hia Batirically 
'4eep reverences with endless curtaeys, after 
hvhich he drew the glove from his right hand, 
'ound it about with the fold of his cloak, 
r>nd grasping that of Schnapper Elle, drew it 
fever his moustaches and said : — 

"Senoral your eyes rival the glow of tlie 

[inn ! But as eggs the kmger they are boiled 

ihe harder they become, so on tlie contrary my 

tjieart grows softer the longer it is cooked in tlie 

laming flashes of your eyes. From the yolk ot 

ly heart flies up the winged god Amor and 

cka a confiding nest in your bosom. And oh, 

inora, wherewith shall I compare that bosom ? 

'or in all the world there is no flower, no fruit, 



nliich is like to it) Ibis growth is only of iCa 
kind nlone ! Though the storm wind teara away 
the leaves from tlie teiiderest rose, your bosotii 
is Btill a winter rose which delies all storms. 
Though the Gour leiiioa the older it grows be- 
coinea yellower and more wrinkled, your bosom 
rivals in colour and softness the sweetest pine- 
apple. Oh, Senora, if the city of Amsterdam be 
as beautiful as you told me yesterday, and the 
day before, and every day, yet is the ground oa 
which it rests far lovelier stilL" 

The cavalier spoke these last words with 
alTected earnestness, and squinted as if yearning 
at the great picture-plate which hung from 
Schnapper Elle's neck. Nose Star looked down 
with inquisitive eyes, and the much-bepniiied 
bosom heaved so that llie whole city of Amster- 
dam rocked from side to side. 

" Ah ! " siyhed Schnapper Elle, " virtue is 
worth more tlian beauty. What use ts my 
beauty to nie ? My youth is passing away, and 
since Schnapper is gone — anyhow, he had hand- 
some hiuidi — what avails beauty." 

Witli that she .sighed again, and like an echo 
all but inaudible Nose Star sighed behind her. 

"Of what avail is your beauty?" cried Don 
Isaac. " Oil, Donna Schnapper Elle, do not sin 
against the goodness of creative Nature! Do 
not scorn your most charming gifts. She will 



THE RABBI OF BACFIARACU. 



»39 



I 



r terribly revenge herself. Those blessed blessing 

eyes will be like dim glasses, tlioae winsome 

lips grow flat and commonplace, thnt cliaste and 

,' form be changed into a barrel of tallow 

hardly pleasing to any one, and the city of 

I Amsterdam at last rest on a sjiongy bog." 

So he sketched piece by piece the ai^peaiance 
of Schnapptr Elle, so that the poor woman waa 
bewililered, and sought to escape the uiicaiuiy 
compliments of [he cavalier. She was delighted 
at this instuiit to see Beautiful Sai-a appear, as 
it gave her an opportunity to in(iuire whether 
she had quite recovered from her swoon. There- 
upon she rushed into lively chatter, in which she 
fully developed her sham gentility, mingled with 
real kindness of heart, and related with much 
more sensibility than common sense tlie awful 
story how she herself had almost fainted with 
horror when she, as innocent and inexperienced 
as could be, came in a canal boat to Amsteivdam, 
and the rascally porter wlio carried her trunk 
led her — not to a respectable tavern, but oh, 
horrors 1 — to an infamous place! She saw what 
it was the moment she entered, by the brandy- 
drinking ; and, oh ! — the immorality that w.is 
I going on I — and she would, as she said, " really 
have swooned, if it had not been that duriiig 
the six weeks she stayed there she only once 
Ventvired to close her eyes." 



^O THE RABBI OP BACHARACH, 

** I dared not," she added, " on account of my 
virtue. And all that took place because of my 
beauty ! But virtue will stay — when good looks 
pass away." ^ 

Don Isaac was beginning to go somewhat 
critically into the details of this story when; 
fortunately, Squinting Aaron Hirschkuh from 
Hamburg on the Lalin came, a white npron on 
his arm, and bitterly bewailed that the soup was 
already served, and that the boarders were seated 
at table, but that the landlady was missing. 

(The conclusion and the chapters which follow 
are lost, not from any fault of the author.) 

^ Aber Schouheit vergeht und Tugend bcsteht. 



SHAKESPEARE'S 



MAIDENS AND WOMEN 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. 



■♦♦- 



It is a rule with rare exceptions that the more 
a literary work is inspired with genius, the more 
necessary it is for us to form a true conception 
of the habits of thought of the author, bis prin- 
ciples or " morals," his excellences or demerits. 
This is particularly the case with writers who 
gossip about themselves, who take wild or 
eccentric flights of fancy, and above all witli 
those who, believing themselves to be perfectly 
informed or correct, often unconsciously mingle 
error and prejudices with great truths, and also 
noble inspirations, and the combination of great 
learning with the charm of poetry. Henry 
Heine was pre-eminently such a writer, and the 
work on Shakespeare's " Maidens and Women " 
by him, which is here presented in English, 
deserves careful study, as being from this point 
of view the most characteristic of all his works. 
It is a small book, it bears intrinsic evidence of 
having been a piece de manufacture recklessly ^ 



244 "TAANSLATOR'S PREFACE. 

put together, and it is professedly merely ** written 
up" to supply the letterpress for a series of 
engravings. The fact that all the female char- 
acters of the comedies of Shakespeare are only 
illustrated by quotations, would seem to indicate 
(4ther that the author's or publisher's original 
intention was to confine the text to such citations, 
or that the former, becoming weary of his task, 
finished the work with this lame and impotent 
conclusion. In several chapters the lady char- 
acter serves as a mere p^g whereon to hang 
some brilliant garment of an essay, behind which 
she is quite concealed, and in many cases the 
citations from the comedies are far from being 
apt or well chosen. That carelessness prevailed 
is shown in the fact that none of the numerous 
quotations in the tragedies are given in the 
German original, with references to act or scene — 
an omission which has been a cause of annoyance 
to many a reader — while several of these refer- 
ences in the comedies are incorrectly numbered. 
On the other hand, it may be fairly said 
that, making every allowance for every error of 
commission or omission, there is probably no 
small work of the kind in any language which 
is so well worth reading. The tribute to the 
genius of Shakespeare, whom the author sin- 
cerely believed to be immeasurably the greatest 
genius in the world, as contrasted to his narrow- 



TRANSLATORS PREFACE. 

minded hatred of tho En;»lish, is in the higliest 
degree interesting and piquant. Not less able ( 
are his accounts of the development of tho 
influence of Shakespeare in Germany and France, 
while the vivacity of expression, the brilliancy 
of tone and colour, and the accurate though 
miracalonsly rapid sketching of outline of the 
tragical characters, or of others connected with 
them, is not surpassed, if it be equalled, by any 
writer of this century. If it be a teat of tho 
original merit or character of men or books 
that we can remember something of them, this 
work should rank among the best, since few who 
read it will ever forget its valuable information, 
or the brilliant style in which it ia conveyed — 
apples of gold on plates of silver. 

These apples are not all, however, of purest 
gold, and I Lave, I trust judiciously, pointed 
out in notes what I believed to be the admixtares 
of baser metal. It id so much the habit of 
translators, like biographers, to swallow their 
subjects whole " without winking," and to exalb i 
them as perfect in every conceivable respect, 4 
that the idea of poiating out or admitting errora I 
in mine will seem to many to be simply an un- 1 
pleasant paradox. This will certainly be tha \ 
case with those who read merely for pastime, and 
who dislike anything which calls for thought or 
disturbs the even current of tlipir waking dream, 



>4« 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. 




and etill more go with the raDnticol cesthete or 
Heine worshipper, who believes, like all idola- 
ters, that his idol is perfection aud all solid gold, 
even though the wooden core appears visibly 
through cracks in the plating. But the sensible 
Clitic knows that it is alter all of immense value, 
and makes allowance for defects. 

I believe that Heine himself would have 
approved in his heart of such fair treatment. 
He was as a rule only an enemy to such as bad 
reviled him with persoTial insult, as did Platen. 
In the chapter on Anna BoUen he praises Queen 
lOliziibetli because she desired that Shakespeare 
should set Ibilh the English sovereigns, includ- 
ing her own father, with perfect impartiality. 
Hoine knmo bis own defects — bis contradictions 
of character, inconsistencies, and errors — he admits 
theui sadly and sincerely enough, und rathei 
touuhingly attempts, like a child, to put them 
off on something else — "on this hon-id age." 

But Heine was also conscious of his own 
etupeudous genius, and knew that the bell, 
though it had a flaw in it, could ring forth tonei 
which should be heard to all times. Thereforo 
ho would not have objected even to the closest 
criticism, if it were truthful, and accompanied 
with sincere and enlightened appreciation of his 
merits. The latter indeed apeak for fbemseivea 
80 loudly and clearly as to require no comment. 



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE. 247 

With his errors it is another affair, and one of 
these gUdes so subtly into all his works, and 
into every expression of opinion, be it on sub- 
jects social, political, or aesthetic, that the reader 
should be in all fairness now and then reminded 
of it. This error is the inconsistency which 
sprang from his education and life. Professedly 
a revolutionary or radical, avii du peuple or 
socialist, more or less here and there — or now 
and then — and an exile for liberty, ei cetera, 
there seldom lived a man who loved aristocracy 
or *^ gentility " more, and this is shown in an 
absolutely amusing manner in several passages 
in this work, especially in his comments on 
Queen Margaret, where he taunts English chivalry 
as being tainted with the shop-keeping spirit, 
and sneers at the battle of Cressy, as I have 
pointed out in a note. Bearing this in mind, 
the reader need not be puzzled, as many have 
been, with apparent contradictions. With less 
genius and more settled principles Heine would 
have been unquestionably a far greater man, and 
probably not less brilliant. There is a popular 
belief that without some inconsistency or eccen- 
tricity there can be no genius ; but Shakespeare, 
the very type of genius, is a proof to the 
contrary. 

THE TRANSLATOR 



SHAKESPEARE'S 
MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 



■♦♦■ 



INTRODUCTION. 

I KNOW a good Hamburg Christian who can 
never reconcile himself to the fact that our Lord 
and Saviour was by birth a Jew. A deep dis- 
satisfaction seizes him when he must admit to 
himself that the man who, as the pattern of per- 
fection, deserves the highest honour, was still of 
kin to those snuflSing, long-nosed fellows who 
go running about the streets selling old clothes, 
whom he so utterly despises, and who are even 
more desperately detestable when they — like 
himself — apply themselves to the wholesale 
business of spices and dye-stuffs, and encroach 
upon his interests. 

As Jesus Christ is to this excellent son of 
Hammonia, so is Shakespeare to me. It takes 
the heart out of me when I remember that he is 
an Englishman, and belongs to the most repulsive 
race which God in His wrath ever created. 

What a repulsive people, what a cheerless, 
unrefreshing country ! How strait-ruled, hide- 



Jib SJlAKESPEARE-S MAIDENS AND I 

boand, liorae-made ; how selfish, how anguUr, 
how Anylican!' A country which would long 
ago have beec swallowed up by the sea if it had 
not feared that it would cause internal pain . . . 
a race, a grey gaping monster, which breathes 
only nitrogen' and deadly ennui, and which will 
certainly at last hang itself with a colossal cable. 

And in such a land and among such people 
William Shakespeare first saw the light in 1 564. 

But the England of those days where — in the 
Northern Bethlehem called Stratford-npon-Avon 
— the man waa born to whom we are indebted 
for the world's gospel known na the Shakesporiaa 
Drama — that England was certainly very differ- 
ent from that of to-day; it was even termed 
Merry England, and it flourished in gleaming 
colonr, masque- merriment, deep meaning frolic- 
Bome folly, sparkling earnest action, transcendent- 

' Wie eng, ku E-ngUsch. LIter&lly, hnw narrow or cloae; 
implying nl>o Migulur, euntroctetl movementa. Heine wu 
much given to these little, olj-fulii'intfd tptaUibftt Mid pniii 
wliich are bo much ailmireil by cerUia tenden m " untrutalata- 
Kbletrnkcee/'aad brilliant pr>iutB ul "ineffaljly graceful gtyle" or 
" wultb of imagery." Out of justiee to Hoine it may be hers 
recalled that, many yearn after, he eipressed to Lwly Ditfl 
Cordon di'ep regret tor all this early obusa nl everything Engluih, 
cnnfeBung that it wa^ mure ill-tempered caprice, aaJ that ha 
«ra> quite iynorBnt of tlio people.^" leh huh lit OVch nicAt 
gekannl." It Is prabablH lliat fidae Btcond-hand ideas as to 
Engtiah " Furitaniem," and a deaire (a please hia French reader^ 
liod a great deal to do with it — I'ranilalor. 

' Xilrngen. In German, Slictstof, lilEral!y Btranglins-atutt, 



SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOUEN. 

dreaming passion. Life nas there still a gay 
tonrnament, where the knijjlifc of noble birth 
certainly played in jest or earnest the leading 
part, but where the clear ringing trumpet-tone 
also thrilled the heart of the citizen. Instead of 
heavy beer, people then drank light-hearted wine, 
that democratic drink which makes all taen aliko 
when inspired by it, though they still on the 
sober stages of real life divide themselves accord- 
ing to rank and birth. 

All of this gay and many-coloured life has 
■faded; silent are the joyful trumpet- tones, the 
sweet intoxication is gone for aye ! And the 
book which ia called the " Dramatic Works of 
William Shakespeare" is now a consolation in 
evil times, and a proof still estant in the bands 
of the people that a merry England really did exist. 

It is Incky for ua that Shakespeare came just 
at the right time, that ho was a contemporary 
of Elizabeth and James, while Protestanism, it is 
true, expressed itself in the unbridled freedom 
of thought which prevailed, but which had not 
yet entered into life or feeling, and the kingdom 
lighted by the last raya of setting chivalry still 
bloomed and gleamed in all the glory of poetry. 
True, the popular faith of the Middle Ages, or 
Catholicism, was gone as regarded doctrine, but 
it existed as vet with all its magic in men's 
hearta, and held its own in manners, cuBtoma, 




151 SHAkESPBARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMBS. 

and views. It was not till later tJiat tbe 
Puritans sncceeded in plucking away Bower by 
flower, and otterly rooting np the religion of tJia 
past, and spreading over all the land, as with a 
grey canopy, that dreary sadness which since 
then, dispirited and debilitated, has diluted itself 
to a Inkewarm, whining, drowsy pietism. Nor 
had the kingdom, any more than the religion, 
in Shakespeare's time, suffered that heavy languid 
change now known to us as the constitutional 
form of government, which, however it may have 
boneGted European freedom, has in no way 
advanced or aided Art} 

> In thin pMBUge w« peroeivB to perfection Heme's great 
wesknew, (bst it, hla incoDEieteticj and hU real Inability t« be • 
Ifoder in p<iUdc8 or thaiight. He wus fond of auuming to be 
tlia Grat of the reformer* of hie time, but no London "awtheta" 
ever aurpused him in prscticall; preferring "Art," or wbat lis 
fuund personally agreeable, reGnsd, and ele-gant, to great prin- 
ciplea, or in being niiw one thing and then nnothi-T. He was 
vei7 vain of his intimate knowledge of everything English, but 
it did not ^ beyond tuperjicial characteristics. HecnrBesthe 
Anglican in the beginning of thii chapter ns "the most reptilsivo 
race ever created by God in His wrath," apparently beciiuae 
he did net like tbcir beer, cookery, and piety, and manifeatB in 
his amusing attempts at political ecanomioal criticism an in- 
credible ignorance of, and indiSerence to, the real influenoa of 
the Datiunal debt and cuminerce. He was a genius within bii 
sphere, bat unfortunately he loo often attempts to show him- 
self OS one without its limits. A brave and leading sulJier 
of freedom who deserves the name dues not regard it as infi'rior 
to "Art." In the next seiitencea the reader will find bim 
.Uwnilinc the denth of Charles I, as B great calamity and out- 



SHAKESPEARE*S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 253 

With the blood of Charles I., the great, true, 
ftnd last king, all the poetry ran from the veins of 
England, and thrice happy was the poet who did 
not live to witness this sorrowful event, which he 
had perhaps foreboded. Shakespeare has in our 
time often been called an aristocrat. This I 
would not deny. I would very much rather 
excuse his political inclinations when I reflect 
that his foreseeing poet's eye perceived the 
dead-levelling Puritan times which were to make 
an end, with the kingdom, of all enjoyment of 
life, all poetry, and all bright and cheerful Art. 

Yes, during the rule of the Puritans in 
England, Art was outlawed; as when the 
evangelical zeal raged against the theatre, and 
even the name of Shakespeare was long ex- 
tinguished in popular remembrance. It awakens 
our astonishment when we read in the current 
literature of that time — for instance, in the 
** Histrio-Mastix" of the famous Prynne — ^the 
outbreak of wrath with which the anathema of 
the drama is croaked. Shall we blame the 
Puritans too severely for such zealotry. Truly 
not ; every one is, in history, in the right if he 
remains true to his indwelling principle, and the 

rage, while in other places he exults in the guillotine^ the 
French revolution, and regicide. "The age" is no excuse for 
such inconsistency. The more chaotic an age is, the more it 
becomes a genius to form inherent principles, and act or writ* 
up to them. — Translator, 



>$4 SHAKESPEAKES UAIOENS AND WOilEJf. 

gloomy RuundheaJa on]y followed the conse- 
quencee of tliat anti-artistic spirit which had 
already inaDlfeEted itself in the first centuries of 
the Church, and made its iconoclastic power felt 
tuore or less to ibia day. 

This old, irreconcilable antipathy against the 
theatre is nothing but one side of that enmity 
which for eighteen hundred years has raged and 
ruled between two utterly dissimilar views of 
life, one of which fij-st grew on the arid, barren 
soil of Jui3iea, and the other in blooming Greece. 
For full eighteen hundred years has the grudge 
and rancour between Jerusalem and Athena, 
Ix'twoen the Holy Sepulchre and the cradle of 
Art, between life in the spirit and the spirit in 
life, provailed, and the irritation or friction, and 
public and private feuds which it has caused, 
reveal themselves plainly to the esoteric reader 
in the history of mankind. When we read to- 
day in the newspapers that the Archbishop of 
Paris has refused Christian burial ^ to a poor dead 
actor, such action is not influenced by any priestly 
caprice, and only a short-sighted person can 
perceive in it narrow-minded malice. What 
here inspires is rather the spirit of an ancient 
strife, a battle to death against Art, wbidi was 
often employed by the Hellenic spirit as a 
< GtbrSveMichm BtgrSlbniuidatn, " the uiUftl lionuun at 



I 



I 



SHAKESFEARk'S UAIDBSS AND WOMEN, ijj 

rostrnro fi'Oin tvLich to prencli Ufe against dendeo- 
ing, benumbing Judaism — the Chnreh persecuted 
in the actors tLe agents of Hellenism, and tbis 
persecution often followed the poets wLo derived 
their inspiration oniy from Apollo, and assured 
a refuge to the proscribed heathen gods in the 
land of poetry. 

Or was there perhaps some spite in the game ? 
The most intolerable foes of tho oppressetl Cliurch, 
during the first two centuries, were the players, 
and tlie Acta Sanctorum oflen tell how these 
"infumous actors " often devoted themselves for 
the aniiisement of the heathen tnob to mocking 
the manner of life and mysteries of tho Nazarenes. 
Or was it a mutual jealousy which begot such 
bitter enmity between the servants of the spiritual 
and the worldly word ? 

Next to ascetic, religious zeal was the re- 
publican fanaticism which inspired tho Puritans 
their hatred for the old English stage, in 
which not only heathenism and heathenish tastes, 
but also royalism and nobility were esolted. I 
have shown in another place' how much resem- 
blance there was in this respect between the 
Puritans of those days and the Republicans of 
ours. May Apollo ami the eternal Muses protect 
us from tho rule of the latter! 

In the whirlpool of the priestly and political 



In dlsnueiDg the chnnotera ii 
faglt%.—Nntt bji 11. lleint. 



tit. SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOUES. 

upsL'ttitigH atiil revolutions describcij, the aame 
of Shakc^iieare was long lost, and it was nearly 
K century ere he again rose to fame and honour. 
Kiuce then his renown has risen from day to dny 
— and he was indeed as a spiritual sun for that 
country where the real sun is wanting twelve 
moniha in the year, for that island of damnation, 
that Botany Bay without a southern climate, 
that stone- coal- Btiiiking,' machinery -buzzinfj, 
church-going, and vilely drunken England 1 
Benevolent nature never quite disinherits her 
creatures, and wbilo she denied the English all 
which is beautiful or worthy of love, and gave 
them neither voice for song nor sense of enjoy- 
ment — and perhaps endowed them with leathern 
porter bottles or jacks, instead of human souls — 
bestowed on tbera for recompense a lartro portion 
of municipal freedom, the talent to make them- 
selves comfortably at liome, and William Shake- 
speare. 

Yes, this is the sun which glori&es that land 
with its loveliest light, with its gracious beams, 
Everj'thing tliere remiuds ns of SLakeBpeare, and 
by it the most ordinary objectB appear trans- 
figured and idealised. Everywhere the wings of 
his genius rustle round us, his clear eye gleams 
on us from every significant occurrence, and in 
great events we often seem to see him nod — nod 
gently — softly and smiling. 

' SuiiJiohUiiquahiige. 




SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AKD WOAIErf. 257 

TLia unceasing memory of and throngh Shake- 
peare became significantly clear to me during my 
residence in London, wliile T, an inquisitive 
traveller, ran about from early morn till dce|> 
into the night, to sea the so-called notewortliy 
objects. Every lion recalled the greater lion 
Sbakespeare. All the places which I visited 
live an immortal life io his historical dramas, 
and were known to me from my earliest youth. 
But these dramas are known in England not only 
by the cultivated, but by the people, and even 
the stout beefeater who with his red coat and 
red face acta as guide to the Tower, and shows 
you behind the middle gate the dungeon where 
Richard caused the young princea, Lis nephews, 
to be murdered, refers yon to Shakespeare, who 
has described minutely the details of this harrow- 
ing history. Also the verger who leads you 
round through Westminster Abbey always speaks 
of Shakespeare, in whose tragedies those dead 
kings and queens whose stony connterfcits here 
lie stretched out on their saicophagi- — and whom 
he shows to you fur eighteenpence — play such a 
wild or lamentable part. 

He himself, or the image of the great poet, 
stands there the size of life, a noble form with 
a thonghtful head, holding in his hand a roll of 
parchment. There may be magic words inscribed 
on it, and when he moves at midnight his white 



S38 SMAKSSPEARES UAIDSHS AND WOMBJi. 

lips, and calls the dead who rest in the vaults 
Ijelow, they rise with rusted armour and anti- 
qiintcd coart dresses — the knights of the white 
and red rose ; even tlie ladies come forth sighing 
fi-om tlieir rest ing-p! ace, and a clatter of swords, 
laiigliter and curses, rings around, just as at 
Drury Lnup, win re I so ofteu saw Shakespeare's 
historical dramas p'ayed, and where Koan moved 
my soul so mightily when he rushed desperately 
across the stage crying — 

"A horse, a horac, my kingdom for a. horse !" 

But I must copy the Guide-boob of London if 
I would mention every place where Shakespeare 
was brought to my mind. This happened most 
significantiy in Parliament; not so much because 
its place is the Westminster Hall, so often spoken 
of in the Shakesperian dramas, but because while 
I there listened to the debates, Shakespeare was 
alluded to several times, and his verses were 
quotet), not with reference to their poetical, but 
to their historical importance. To my amaze- 
ment, I remarked that Shakespeare is not only 
celebrated in England as a poet, but recognised 
as a writer of history by the highest state or 
parliament oflicials. 

This leads me to the remark that it is unjust, 
when reading the historical dramas of Shake- 
speare, to require what only a poet can give, or 



I 



SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMES. an 

one to whom poetry and its artistic snironndinga 
are tiie liiglieat aim. Siiakespeare'a theme, or 
task, Traa not merely poetry, but also history. 
He could not model the sit bject- matter as he 
chose, he could not create events and charactere 
at his caprice, and just as little as he could 
detevmine unity of time and place could be 
regulate that of interest for particular persona 
or deeds. Aud yet in these historical dramns 
poetry streams forth more powerfully, richly, and 
sweetly than in the tragedies of those writers who 
either invent or vary their own plots at will, who 
Rim at the most perfect symmetry of form, and 
who in " art proper," especially in the enchaint- 
ment des scenes, far surpass poor Shakespeare. 

Yes — there we have it — the great Briton is 
not only a poet, but a historian ; he wields not 
only the dngger of Melpomene, bnt the stilt 
sharper stylus of Clio.' In this respect he is 
like the earliest writers of history, who also knew 
no difference between poetry and history, and so 
gave lis not merely a nomenclature of the things 
done, or a dusty herbarium of events, but who 
enlightened truth with song, and in whose song 
was heard only the voice of truth.' The so- 

' The etylvis for writing was often uaed u a dflBger Wnong 
the BomauB (Adami). — I'mnilator. 



^^ » Herein Uei the value of folt-lnn bb an aid to tbn rtndy n( J 

^^^ hJBtorj, ttiAt it euppliea the innvc life oF the people in nil thin^ I 

^ ' ^^^ 



S6a SJIAKESrEARES UAtDEXS AKD iVOilES'. 

called objectivity of whicli we Bt present hear so 
mucli is nothing eUe lUau a dried up lie; it is 
not poaaible to t^ketcli the past without giving 
it the colour of our own feelings. Yes, the so- 
called objective writer of history, directing bia 
words to the luen of his time, writes involuntarily 
in the spirit of his time ; and this spirit wt!l 
\>o perceptible in his writings, just as in letters 
which betray not only the character of tlie 
writer but tit the receiver. That so-called ob- 
jectivity which, puffed np with its lifelessness, 
rnthi'ones itself on the Golgotha of actual deeds, 
is on that very account to be rejected, because 
we ncetl fur historical truth not only the exact 
stAtenient of fact?, but also ceiiain informatioa 
of tlie impression which a fact produced on con- 
temporaries. To give such inlbrmation is, how- 
ever, the hardest problem, since it requires not 
only the usual imparting of actual facts, but also 
the capacity of perception ' in the poet to whom, 
as Shakespeare says, the being and the body of 
past times have become visible. 

And not only had the phenomena of his own 
nnlionnl history become visible to him, but also 

— tliat U to uj, it does this Bi> iung aa jtt i-.tiidtnts do not turn 
it into mm tsblei of comparlBoti of tales and luperstitious, — 
TmxtliHer. 

' Jtnekauunifttirmllgfn. SilbitanKhaavnffitiniiSgen, tha 
rnoultxof Mlf-pcrccptlon {Kant). Krilit drr rtimn Vemw^t— 
IVfltWator, 



SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMBIT. a6r 

if which tlie aonala of antiquity have 
given us knowleilge, as we behohl to our amaze- 
irient in the dramas where lie paiuts the Komaa 
realm, long passed away, with truest colours, Aa 
he saw to the inner life the linights of the Middle 
Ages, BO did he that of the heroea of the antique 
world, and hade thera speak out the deepest word 
of their souls. And he always knew how to raise 
Truth to Poetry ; and how to set forth in poetic 
light that hard and sober race of prose, those 
combinations of rude rapine and refined legal 
shrewdness, that casuistic soldaksca, the unsenti- 
mental Romans. 

But yet as regards his Boman dramas, Sliake- 
Bpeare must needs incur the reproach of being 
without form, and a highly-gifted author, Dietrich 
Grabbe, even called them' "poetically adorned 
chronicles," wherein all central motive was want- 
ing, where no one knew who was the leading or 
side character, and where, even if we dispensed 
with unity of time and place, we can find no 
nnity of interest. A strange error of the 
shrewdest critics ! For neither ia this last-named 
unity, nor those of place and time, at all want- 
ing to our great poet. Only that the ideas * are 

■ In an esiay on the Sbalcespearomnniit, In the aeoond Voltitn« 
"Dramatic Poeui3,"bjGrabbB, Frankfort, 1827.— iVd[< bf 
n PubUihrr. 



S6i SUAKESPBARE'S MAIDENS AND WOUEN. 

Bomenhat bromler in his mind than in ours : tbe 
Btage of hia dramas is the wholo wide world, and 
that, is his unity of place ; eternity is the time in 
which his pieces played, and that is his unity of 
time ; and in keeping with both is the hero of 
liis dramas, who foi^ns the central point, and 
represents the unity of interest. And humanity 
is that hero who ever dies and comes to lit'a 
again ; who ever lov^ea and hates, yet lovea the 
most ; who bends like a worm to-day, and soars 
to-morrow like nn eagle to the sun — deserving 
to-day a cap and bells, to-moriow a laurel wreath, 
and oftener both together: the great dwarf, the 
little giant, the homCDopathically prepared divinity, 
in whom that which is divine is indeed terribly 
diluted, but still there. Ah ! let us not speak 
too much of the heroism of this hero, out of very 
modesty and shame. 

The same fidelity and truth which Shakespeare 
manifests as regards history is found as to Nature, 
People ui'e wont to say that he held the mirror 
up to it. The expression is incorrect, for it 
leads us astray as *o the relations of the poet to 
Nature. In the poetic soul not only Nature is 
mirrored, but an ima.ge of it which, being like 
the most faithful reflection of n looking-gla^s, is 
born in the spirit of the poet ; he brings at the 
game time the world forth unto the world, and 
if he, awaking from the dreaming age of child- 



SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 263 ll 



^^^^SUAKE^ 

^B hood, attains to self-consciouBnesa, then every 1 
^^ portion of the outer world of seeming ia at c 

grasped by him in all its mutual relations, for 
he bears a likeness of tlie whole iu bis soul, be 

I knows the deepest foundation of all pbeuomena 
which are riddles to common minds, and which, 
when investigated by the ordinary methodSj are 
understood with difficulty, or not at all. And aa 
the mathematician, when only the smallest por- 
tion of a circle is given, infallibly deduces from it 
the whole circle and the centre, so the poet, when 
only the merest fragments of the world of things 
which seem is presented, then to bim appear 
clearly all that is connected with it; he knows 
at once the periphery and centre of all things, 
yea, he understands them in their widest com- 
prehension and deepest central point. 

But some fragment of the outer world must 
always be given before the poet can develop that 
wonderful process of completing a world; and 
this perfect apprehension of a part of the world 
of perception ia effected by sensation, and is 

» simultaneously the external occurrence, the inner 
revelations of which are determined, and to which 
we owe the art-works of the poet. TJie greater 
these works, the more anxiously desirous are we to 
know those external occurrences which inspired 
the motive. We gladly investigate memoranda 



9«4 SttAKESPEARE-S MAIDENS AS'D WOUE!f. 

tlie more ridiculous because, as appears from what 
lius been said, the greatness of external events ia 
in uo proportion to the greatness of the creations 
thereby called forth. These events may be very 
trilling and invisible, and, in fact, generally are 
so, just as the external life of the poet is usually 
small and uimoted — I say small and unnoted, 
for I will not uso harsher expressions. The 
poets show themselves to the world in the splen- 
dour of their works, and it ia specially when one 
sees them from afar that the beholder is dazzled 
by tlie raya. Let us never look too closely into 
tlieir ways. They ai-a like the lovely lights which 
gleam so gloriously of smnmer evenings from 
grassy banks and foliage, that one might believe 
they were the stars of the earth, or diamonds and 
emeralds, or jewels rich and rare, which kings' 
children who had been playing in the garden 
had loft hanging on the bushes and there for- 
gotten ; or glowing snndrops lost amid the grass, 
and which now, revived by the cool night, awake 
and gleam with joy till the morning returns, and 
the red flaming star draws them up again unto 
himself. Ah, seek not by broad daylight the 
traces of those stars, jewels, and sun-drops ! In 
their place yon will find a poor miacoloured 
wormlet which crawls wretchedly along, whosa 
look repels you, and whom you do not tread 
uuder foot out of sheer pity, 




SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AXD IVOME^. 265 




And what was tlie private life of SbaUeapeare ? 

lite of all research we liave learned almost 

Nothing of it, and it is fortunate that we have 

Only all kinds of unverified, foolish tales 

' have been told continually alxiut his youth and 

life. So he is said, while employed by his father 

who was a butcher, to have slaughtered oxen. 

Thia was probably the surmise of certain English 

commentators who, probably out of ill feeling, 

attribute to him general ignorance and want of 

Then he was a dealer in wool, and did not 

jed. Poor fellow, he thought perhaps that 

wool he would come to sit on the woolsack. 

[ do not believe a word of it all — 'tis simply a 

reat cry and little wool. I am more inclined 

I believe that he was a poacher, and came to 

* prison through a fawn ; for which, however, T do 

not condemn him. " Even Honour once stole a 

calf," says a German proverb.' Then he fled to 

London, and held gentlemen's horses for a fee 

before theatre doors. Something like this are 

the fables which one old woman chatters after 

fcthe other in literary history. 

The sonnets of Shakespeare are more authentic 
jdocuments aa to hia life, which I, however, would 
pot discuss, yet which, from the deep human misery 



l66 SHAKESFEARE-S .VAWBNS A.\D nOMEN. 

wiiicb IB therein revealeJ, tempted mo iuto my 
previous remarks oa to the private lite of tha 
poef. 

Tlie want of more nccarat« iDformation as to 
Slukespeare's life is readily explained wben wa 
recall tKe political and reli^^ious Btorms whidi 
burst wildly out soon after liia death — colling 
forth fur a time an absolute Puritan domiuioa, 
wliicb loug after had a cold, deadening ioflnence, 
and Dot only destroyed the golden age of Eliza- 
bethan literatnn*, bnt brought it into absolute 
oblivion. When in tbe beginning of the la^t 
century the works of Shakespeare again cuma to 
tbe full light of day, all traditions which could 
aid in analysing the text were atterly wanting, 
and commentators were obliged to take refuge in 
a criticism which drew from superficial empiri- 
cism, and a mora lamentable materialism, their 
last dregs. Witli the exception of WUliam 
llazlitt, England has given ua no commentator 
of any consequence; in all the works of all the 
others we find only petty huck8t*ring of trifles, 
self- re flee ting shullownesB, eutlmsiastic mysticism, 
pedantic pnffed-upness which threatens to barat 
for joy, when they can convict tbe poor poet of an 
antiquarian, geographical, or chi'onologieal erj-or, 
and thereby bewail that he unfortunately did not 
study the ancients in the original tongues, and 
had thereunto but little schooling, lie makea 



SHAKESPEARE*S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 267 

his Romans wear hats,^ lets ships land in Bohemia, 
and suffers Aristotle to be quoted in the time of 
Troy ! Which was more than an English scholar 
who had graduated Magister Artium at Oxford 
could endure ! The only commentator on Shake- 
speare whom I cited as an exception, and who is- 
indeed unique in every aspect, was the late Hazlitt, 
a mind which was as brilliant as deep, a com- 
mingling of Diderdt and Borne, combining flaming 
zeal for the revolution with the most glowing 
sense of art, ever sparkling with verve and esprit. 
The Germans have comprehended Shakespeare 
better than the English. And here I must again 
recall that great name which is ever to be found 
where there is question of a great beginning. 
Grottlob Ephraim Lessing was the first man who 
raised his voice in Germany for Shakespeare. 
He it was who bore the first and greatest stone 
for a temple to the greatest of all poets, and^ 
what was more praiseworthy, he took the pains 
to clear the ground on which this temple was to 
be raised of all its ancient rubbish. Without 
pity he tore down the light French stage-show 
which spread wide over the place, so inspired was 
he with a genial love of building. Gottsched shook 
the locks of his peruke so despairingly that all 

1 Which they, certainly did, occasionally. The putting; on «i 
hat was the ceremony by which a slave was made free."— 
Translator, 



168 SllAKi:SPEARE'S MAIDENS AND JVOMEX. 

Lui[i/.i|r trembled, and tlie cheeks of his spoasa 
grew white with fear — or from pearl-powder. One 
mny tay that ttio whole dramaturgy of Leasing 
wna written in the interest of Shakespeare. 

Ni.'xt to Tossing wo have Wieland. By hia 
tmnBlation of the great poet he increased mora 
pructicatly the recognition of Lis merits in Ger- 
manic. Stnmge that the poet of Agathon and 
of Munnrion, tlio trifling, toying caralicrt servante 
of the Oracee, the hanger-on and imitator of the 
French, was the man who all at once grasped the 
Uritlah earneatnesa bo powerfally that he himself 
roiled on his shield the hero who was to put an 
end to hia own aupreinacy. 

The third groat voice which rang for Shake- 
speare in Germany was that of our dearly-loved 
Herder, who declared himaolf with unconditional 
erilhnsiiism for the British bard. Goethe also paid 
him honour with a grandflotirishon bis trumpet; in 
•hort, it was an array of kings, who, one after the 
other, throw their votes into the urn, aud elected 
William Sliakespearo the Emperor of Literature. 

This Emperor was already firmly seated on bis 
throne when the knight Augnst Wilhelm von 
Kchlogel and his squire, Count Councillor Lud- 
wig Tieck, succeeded in kissing his band, and 
assured all the world that now his realm and 
reign were really sure — the tbousand-y ear-long 
rule of the great William. 



J 



SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 169 

But it would be unjust slioulJ I deny to 
A. \y. von Sclilegel the merit which he won by 
his translation of Shakespeare's dramas, and his 
lectures on them. Honounibly confessed the 
latter lack the philosophic basis, they sweep 
along too superficially in a frivolouB dilettantism, 
and certain ugly reserved reflections or back- 
thoughts came too visibly Irrward for me to pro- 
nounce unreserved praise over them. Herr A. 
W. von Schlegel's inspiration is always artificial, 
a deliberately intended shamming one's self into 
an intoxication without drunkenness ; and with 
him, as with all the rest of the romantic school, 
the apotheosis of Shakespeare is indirectly meant 
for a degi'adation of Schiller. Sthlegel'a trans- 
lation is certainly the best aa yet, and fulfils 
every requisition which can be made for a metrienl 
version. The feminine natui'e of hia talents ia 
here an admirable aid to the writer, and in hia 
artistic ready skill without character, he can 
adapt himself admirably and accurately to the 
foreign spirit. 

And yet I confess that, despite these merits, I 
often prefer to read the old translation of Eschen- 
barg (which ia all in prose) to that of Schlegel, 
and for these reasons : — 

The language of Shakespeare ia not peculiarly 
his own, but was derived from bia predecessors 
and contemporaries ; it is the traditional theatricaj 



tfo SUAKESPKARE-S MAIDENS AND WQUEN. 

Innffuago wlikli tlio dramatic poet of tboee dara 
muit UB<?, whotbor ho Found it (itl«d to his genius 
or not. One baa imly to look Buperficially over 
I )(iil>.loy't Collfulion of Old I'liivs, and observe 
Mint ill all the tragedies mid comedies of tbe time 
lliprc juTVaiU the snitio manner of speefh, the 
mimo Piiiihiiiam, llio same exaggeration of refine- 
iiirnt, llift name forced meaning of words, and tbe 
■nme " coiiceitu," josta, witty flourishes, and elabo- 
roto fivncioB wliicb we find in Sliakespearo, and 
whicli are blindly admired by men of Email or 
iinrniw iiiind«, but which are excoeed by the intel- 
liKisiit reader— when he does not blame them — 
UK extraneous, or bolonging lo tlie conditions of an 
ii((o nliioh exacted tbom. Only in the passages 
where bia highest revelations are shown, and where 
Ibe wbols genius nf Sbukespearo appears, does he 
vuliintarily atrip atvay that traditional language 
of tbe HtAg(>, and show himself in grandly beauti- 
ful nnkedneM, in a simplicity which vies with uu- 
ndorned Nntnre and fills us with delighted awe, 

YfH. in Bitch passages Shakespeare manifests, 
e\t>n in Inngiingn, a dooidod originality, but one 
wbicb tho metrical translator who comes limping 
along bohind on the feet of tho measure fitted to 
the thought cannot fiiithfiilly reflect. With such 
H trnnalator the^e unusual passages aro lost in 
the ordinary wheel-ruts of theatrical language, 
and even Schtegc] cannot avoid this fate. Rut 



i 




SHAKESPEARE'S UAIBENS A.SD H'OAIEJV. ajl 

whj then take the trouble to translate metrionlly, 
when tlio best work of the poet is thereby lost 
and only the faulty reproduced. A prose trans- 
lation which more easily reproduces the tinadornod, 
plnin, nutnral purity of certain passages therefora 
deserves preference to the metrical.' 

While directly following Schlegel, Ludwig 
Tieck deserves credit as an elucidator of Shake- 
ipeare. This was set forth in his Dramaturgic 
Paircs, which appeared fijurteen years ago in the 
Ahendzeilung, and vvbich awoke the utmost interest 
in " the theatre-going public," as well as among 
actors. Unfortunately there prevails in these 
pages a wide-ranging or straying, wearisome, 
pedantic tone, which the delightful good-for- 
nothing, 83 Gutzkow called him, assumed with a 
certain lurking spirit of roguery. What he lacked 
in a knowledge of classic tongues, or even in philo- 
sophy, lie made up in decorum and gravity, and 
we are reminded of Sir John in the chair, when he 
delivers his harangue to the Prince. Bub in spite 
of the puffed-out doctrinal gravity un()er which 
little Ludwig sought to conceal his philologic and 
philosophic deficiencies or vpiorarUia, there are 

' Heine is bece far ton eweepiag aad "geaernl," aaBuming 
that faults nbich are few and far betveen in Schlegel and 
Tieck'E tniiBlBtiini are universal. Nur is the principle abao- 

klntely true. Shelley's translation of a portion of G«ethe'a 
"Fantt" i» iDComp»riibly better tfean that of Eajward. 



I 



171 SHAKESPEARE'S UAWENS AND WOURS. 

to bo found here and there in the&e leaves lh» 
•hrawdcHt commenU on the character of the Shake- 
KIKarcan heroes, and ever and anon we find that 
po<'tio power of p('rrriition which we ever admired 
in Ilia earlier writings, and recognised with joy. 

Ah, thin Tieck, who was once a poet, and 
reckoned, if not among the highest, at least with 
thone who hod the highest aima, how low has lie 
fallen ainco then! How niisorably moumfal is 
tUo negligently reeled ofT task, which be gives 
QB annually, compared to the free otitponrings 
of hi!> inuRe from the early moonlit time of Fairy 
Title 1 Aa dear as ho once was, even so re- 
pulsive in he now — the powerless Neidhart,' who 
coUimniates the insptit^d sorrows of German 
youth in liis gossiping novels. Unto him are 
truly npplicftble those words of Shakespeare : — 

" For BwiiptcBl ihiiit:* lum nourot by tlieir deeds ; 
Mill!* ihul fwlcr piiipII far vioree thuo wetila." ' 

Aniong the Uennau commentalors on the great 
poet, the late Frana Horn should not be omitted. 
Hix elucidations of Sliakespoaro are certainly the 
fullest, and are in fivs volumes. There is, indeed, 
in thum the spirit of wit and intelligence, bat it 
ia n spirit bo diluted itud thinned down, that it 
ia even li'sa refreshing than the most spiritlesa 
narrow- mindedneas. Strange that this man, who 




SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN, ayj 

iiit of love for Shakespeare devoted a whole 
to his study of bim, aad was one of his most 
worshippera, was a pitifully petty pietist. 
Bat it may be that a sense of hia own wretched 
weaknesa of aonl awoke in him an endless amaze- 
ment at Shakespeare's power, and bo, whenever 
and anon the British Titan, in his most passionate 
Bcenes, pileg Pelion on Ossa and storms the 
heights of heaven, then the poor elucidator in awe 
lets fall his pen and pauses, mildly sighing and 
grimacing. As a pietist he mast naturally, accord- 
ing to his canting-pious nature, hate the poet 
whose Eoul, inspired with tlie spring-like air of 
the gods, breathes in every word the most joyous 
heathenism — yes, he should hate that believer in 
life, to whom the faith of death ia in secret detest- 
able, and who, revelling in the most enchanting 
delirium of antique heroic power, shuns the pitiful 
pleasures of humility, self-denial, and abasement! 
And yet he loves bim all the same, and in hja un- 
wearied love wonld fain convert Sliakespeare to tlie 
true Church ; he comments a Christian sense into 
him — be it pious fraud or self-delusion; he finds 
this Christian feeling everywhere in Shakespeare's 
dramas, and the lioly water of his commentary is 

I also a bath of baptism in five volumes, which ho 
pours on the head of the great heathen. 
And yet, I repeat, these comments are not quite 
without wit and sense. Many a time Frauz 



»J4 SliAKLSFEARES iIAlDE.\S AXD WOMEN. 

lloru brings forth a happy thoaglit, — then he 
makes vreorisome, sweet-EODrish grimaces, and 
groaus and twists and twines himself roand OQ 
(he st'Xil of childbirth ; and when finally the 
clever Idea has come to light, he looks at it with 
emotion and wearied smiles, like a midwife who 
has got through with her job. It is really both 
vexatious and amusiog that jnst this weak and 
pious Franz commented Shakespeare. In a 
comedy by Grabbe the affair is delightfully re- 
versed, and Shakespeare Is represented in hell as 
writing explanalions of Horn's works.' 

But all the glosses and explanations and 
laborions laudation of commentators was of less 
practical use as regarded making Shakespeare 
known to the public than the inspired love with 
which talented actors produced his dramas, and 
thereby made them a subject for popular jad^ 
ment, Liclitenberg, in his letters from England, 
gives us important intelligence as to the skill 
and method by which Shakespeare's characters 
were given on the London stage in tlie middle 
of the last century. I pay characters — not the 
works in their fulness, since to this day British 
Bctors have only felt or known what is charac- 

' Schen, Satire, Ironic und tiefiit BedaitMng. A coiaeAj m 
three acta. Dralnfttio Worlti of Grabbe, vol. ii. Tba pMsa(;e 
wcura in the second scene "f net ii. p. I aj. — Nott bij the Oerman 
FiMithir. 



L 



SITAKESPBARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN, tji 

(teristic, not the poetry, and still less the art 
6uch one-Bidednesa of apprehension la found, bat 
jn far more limited degree, among the commen- 
tators, wiio were never able to see through the 
dusty spectacles of erudition that which was the 
simplest and nearest, or the nature which was in 
Shakespeare's dramas. Garrick saw more clearly 
into the Shakespearean thoughts than did Dr. 
Johnson llie John Bull of Learning, on whose 
nose Queen Mab doubtless cut the drollest capers 
while he wrote on the " Midsummer Night's 
Dream ; " truly he never knew why he, when at 
work on Shakespeare, felt more tickling o' the 
nose and wish to sneeze than over any other 
poet whom he criticised. 

While Dr. Johnson dissected the Shate- 
Bpearean characters like dead corpses, dealing 
out thereby his dullest dogmatisms in Ciceronian 
English, balancing himself with heavy self-conceit 
on the antitheses of his Latin periods, Garrick 
on the stage thrilled all the people of England, 
ns he called with thrilling invocation the dead to 
Jiife, that they might set forth to all their fearful, 
Woody or gay, and festive work. But Garrick 
Jovcd the great poet, and as reward for that love 
he lies buried in Westminster near the pedestal 
of Shakespeare's statue, like a faithful dog at 
the feet of his master. 

We are indebted to tho celebrated Schroder for 



176 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDEXS AND WOMEN. 

n transferSDCe of Garrick'a acting to Germany, 
He also adapted Beveral of Shakespeare's beat 
dramas \a the German stage. Like Garrick, 
SchrBder understood neither the poetry nor art 
which is revealed \a those dramas — he only cast 
ftti intelligent glanco at the natnre which ex- 
presses itself in them ; nor did he bo moch attempt 
t« reproduce the charming harmony and inner 
porfecliou of a piece, as to give the single char- 
acters with tlie most one-sided truth to nature. 
I am guided in this opinion by the traditions of 
hia plays as they are preserved till to-dny in the 
Hamburg theatre, and also hia " make up " of the 
dramas for the stage, in which all poetry and 
art are wiped out, and in which only a certain 
generally attainable natnralnesa and sharp outline 
of character appears to be developed by a com- 
bination of the most striking traits. 

The method of tlia great Devrient was deve- 
loped out of this system of naturalness. I saw 
him once at Berlin at the same time with the 
great Wolf, who, however, in his play manifested 
a deeper feeling for art, I!ut though they took 
opposite directions — one from nature, the other 
from art — both weie one in poetry, and they 
thrilled or enraptured the souls of their audience 
by the most dissimilar metlioda. 

The musea of music and of painting have dona 
less than might have been expected to exalt 



SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN, rrj ' 

BLakespeare. Wero they envioua of their sisters 
Melpomene oud Thalia, who won their most 
immortal ' wreaths by means of tlie great Briton. 
With the exceptiou of Rumeo and Juliet and 
Othello, no play by Shakespeare has inspired any 
composer of any note to any great creation. The 
value of those sweetly sounding flowers whicii 
sprung from the exulting nightingale heart of 
Zingorelli I need not praise, any more than thosa 
sweetest sounds with which the swan of Pesaro 
sung the bleeding tenderness of Desdemona, and 
the black flames of her lover! Painting, and 
especially the arts of design, have still luoro 
scantily sustained the fame of our poet, Tlia 
Bo-called Shakespeare gallery in Pall Mall shows 
od will, but at the same time the chilly weak- 
ness of British painters. There we see sober 
portrayals, quite in the spirit of the old French 
Bchool, but without the taste which the latter 
never quite lost. There is something in which 
the English are as ridiculous bunglers as in music. 
That is, painting,^ Only in portraits have they 
shown the world anything remarkable, and when 
they execute tliem with the graver — not with 

' UnileiUUhalen I 

' Aa Htine eenenilly wrote iiitelllBently nod well on art, I 
LQ (inlj atlributa the absolute nbeurdit; of this sweeping remurk 
I great ignorance. He migbt with quite lu mucli truth bavs 
iteiided the remark to British eugravitig, — Tramlitor. 



Ij» SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN, 

coluurs — they surpnss ttie artists of the rest of 
Europe. What can the canse bo that the Englisli, 
to whom sense of colour is so scantily allotted, 
are still the most remarkable draughtsmen and 
produce masterpieces of copper and steel engrav- 
ing ? That this last remark is shown by the 
portrMts of Women and Mfudeos from the dramas 
of Shakos jjc are which are gi^on with this work.' 
Their superior excellence requires no comment, 
but the question or subject here is not of com- 
ment at all. These pages are only intended as 
a fleeting introduction or greeting to the delights 
fill work, as use and custom go. I am the porter 
who opens this gallery to yon, and what you have 
BO far heard ia only the rattling of my keys. 
And while I lead you round I shall often intrude 
a brief word of gossip on your reflections, and 
often imitate the cirarone who never allows a 
man to become too deeply inspired amid his own 
reflections while looking at a picture, and ia 
ever ready with a trivial word to wake you from 
yonr contemplative dream. 

In any case, I trust with this publication to 
cause some pleasure to my friends at home. May 
the sight of these beautiful women's faces drive 
from their brows the shadows, which nt present 
have only too much cause to be there ! Ali that 



ing tilt text. 




SITAKESPEARE^S MAIDENS AND WOMEN, 279 

I coiikl offer you more substantial consolation 
than is afforded by these sliadowy forms of 
beauty ! — alas that I cannot give you the rosy 
reality ! Once I would fain have broken the 
halberds with which the Gardens of Delight are 
guarded ; but my hand was too weak, and the 
halberdiers laughed and thrust their points 
against my breast, and Ihe too forward, great- 
souled heart was silent for shame, if it was not 
from fear. Ye sigh ! 



TRAGEDIES. 



( 



CRESSIDA. 

[tROILUS and CRESSIDA.] 

It is the strictly Iionourable daughter of the 
priest Calchaa whom I here present to the most 
honourable public. Fandarus was her uncle, a 
most admirable pander indeed; but his active 
aid, as regarded his calling, was here hardly 
called for. Troilus, a son of the very productive 
Priam, was her first lover. She fulfilled with him 
all the usual formalities, swore him endless truth, 
broke her oath with befitting propriety, and de- 
livered a mournful monologue on the weakness 
of the female heart before transferring herself 
to Diomed. The eavesdropper Thersites, who 
ever ungallantly calls a spade a spade, speaks of 
her as a strumpet ; but he should certainly have 
softened the word, for it may come to pass that 
the beauty, transferred from one hero to another, 
and ever sinking lower, will at last fall as a 
sweetheart to him. 

Not without good and many reasons have I 
placed the portrait of Cressida at tlie portal of 
this gallery. Truly it was not for her virtue, 
and not because she is a type of the ordinary 

average woman, did I give her preference to so 

963 



384 SHAKESPEARE'S UAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

mniif glorious Hud ideal iovma of SLiakc spear e's 
nrt; no — I-opened the dance with that darae of 
dubious fame because I, ahould I publish Shake- 
speare's works, would begin with the drama 
entitled Troilits and Cressida. Steevens, in his 
magnilicent edition, did the Eame ; I do not know 
why, but I conjecture that thia English publisher 
had a reason, which I will here set forth. 

Troiliis and Cressida is the only drama by 
Shakespeare in which he puts upon the stage 
the same heroes which the Greek poets also 
chose for a subject of their dramas, so that the 
method of Shakespeare is very clearly revealed 
by comparison with the manner and style in 
which the elder poets treated the same theme. 
AVhile the classical poets of Greece strove for the 
most elevated trausfigu rations of real life aod 
Boared to ideality, our modern tragedian pene- 
trates more into the deptli of things, digging 
with a sharply whetted spiritual spade into the 
silent soil of what appears to he, and lays bare 
before us its hidden roots. In opposition to the 
ancient tragedians who, like the sculptors of 
their time, only aimed at beauty and nobility, 
nnd glorified the form at the expense of the 
subject, Shakespeare directed his views first to 
truth and the thing io itself, hence bis mastery 
of the characteristic, whence it comes that he 
ofleu touches on the most provoking caricature, 



CRBSSIDA. 



aSs 



I 



and strips the glittering armour from his heroes, 
showing them in the most ridiculous of dressing- 
gowns. Therefore critics who judge of Troilus 
and Cressida by the principles which Aristotle 
drew from the greatest dramas of Greece, must 
fall into great perplexity, if not into the absurdest 
Aa a tragedy the piece was not suffi- 
ciently serious or sad, because everything in it 
J naturally from the beginning, just as in 
rn life, and the heroes beliaved jest as 
stupidly, not to say vulgarly, as we ourselves 
do — and the hero is a pnppy, and the heroine 
just such a common bit of calico ' aa we have 
met many a time among our moet intimate 
acquaintances. Even the most famed bearers of 
great names, renowned in the heroic olden time, 

■ for example, the great Achilles, the brave son of 
Thetis — how wretchedly they seem before ns here ! 
And yet, on the other hand, the piece cannot be 
treated as a comedy, for the blood Sows through 
it in tremendous stream, and the longest speeches 
of wisdom ring therein with grand dignity — aa, 
for instance, in the remarka which Ulysses makea 
as to the necessity, of Authority, and which to 
this day deserve the most serious consideration. 

I" No, no — a play in wbicb such speeches are 
; 



" Det Hftuptheld iat ein Lnpi und die Heldin Bins 
ic Schilrze." SehUra IB litemllj B petticoat ; jocosely, a girl 



1 



aS6 aHAKE^iPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

interchanged can be no comedy," said the critics ; 
Hnd still less could they admit that a poor rogue, 
who, like the teacher of gymnastics, Massmann, 
had small Latin and less Greek/ could dare be so 
bold as to use the great classic heroes to a comedy. 

No, I'roihis and Cressida is neither a comedy 
nor tragedy, in the common sense of the words ; 
it does not belong to any determined class of the 
drama, and still less can it be measured with the 
current standard rules — it is Shakespeare's own 
and most peculiar creation. We can only in 
general principles recognise its eminent excel- 
lence ; for a close criticism of it we need an 
Aesthetic, which is not as yet written. 

Since I Imve registered this drama under the 
1 loading of Tragedy, let me first show how strictly 
1 liold to the title. Sfy old teacher of poetry in 
the gymnnsiiini of Dusseldorf once remarked very 
slirowdly tlint all plays in which the melancholy 
of Melix)nieno prevailed over the gay and joyous 
spirit of Tlialia, belonged to the realm of tragedy. 
IVrhaps I had that comprehensive definition in 
my mind when it occurred to me to place Troilvs 
and Cressida amonjx the trat^edies. And in truth 
there prevails in it an exultant bitterness, a 
world-mocking irony, such as we never met in 

^ This \vft8 originally said of Shakespeare himself by Ben 
Jonson. In Iltine^s text it reads, "Blutwenig Latein und g:vr 
ktin Griechisch." — 7'rantlator, 



CASSANDRA. 287 

the merriment of the comic muse. It is the 
tragic goddess who is very much more before ua 
in this play, only that she here would fain be gay 
for once, and move to mirth. It is as if we saw 
Melpomene at a grisette-ball, dancing the chahut^ 
bold laughter on her pale lips and death in her 
heart. 



CASSANDRA. 
[troilus and cress I da.] 

It is the prophetic daughter of Priam whose 
picture is here presented. She bears in her 
heart the awful foreknowledge of the future, she 
announces the fall of Troy, and now she stands 
and wails where Hector weapons himself to battle 
with the dreadful Pelides. She sees in the spirit 
her beloved brother bleeding from the open wound 
of death, she groans and grieves — in vain ! No 
one heeds her counsel, and as hopeless of rescue 
as the whole deluded race, she sinks into the abyss 
of a dark destiny. 

Shakespeare gives the beautiful seeress scanty 
and not very significant speech ; she is to him 
only an ordinary prophetess of evil who, with hof 



288 SHAKESPEARE^S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

cries of woe, sweeps aboat in the outlawed 
town — 

** Her eyes madlj rolling. 
Her hair wildl j fljing," 

as the picture indicates. 

Oar great Schiller has exalted her in more 
attractive form in one of his sweetest poems. 
Here she laments to the Pythian god, with the 
keenest cutting tones of grief, that fearful fate 
which he holds over his priestess. Once I had to 
declaim in school in public trial that poem, and I 
stopped and could get no further than the words— 

** What availfl to lift the curtain, 
Hiding danger dire and dread I 
Life's an error — that is certain, 
Knowledge puts us with the dead.* 



HELENA. 
[troilus and cressida.] 

This is the beautiful Helen, whose whole history 
I cannot tell, or make clear; for then I must 
really begin with Leda's egg. 

Her titular father was called Tyndarus, but 
her real and secret begetter was a god, who in 



HELENA, 289 

the form of a fowl fructified her blessed motlier 
— as very often took place in the olden time% 
Married when very yonng, she went to Sparta, 
and, as is easy to suppose, was there, owing 
to her extraordinary beauty soon seduced, and 
cuckolded her husband Menelaus. 

Ladies — tbe one among you who is per*- 
fectly conscious of purity, will please cast the 
first stone at the poor sister ! I do not say here 
that there can be no really true women. Tbe 
first wife, the celebrated Eve, was a pattern of 
conjugal fidelity. Without the least idea of 
adultery, she wandered in Eden by the side of 
her husband (the celebrated Adam), who was 
then the only man in tbe world, and wore an 
apron of fig leaves. She conversed willingly 
with the Serpent, but that was only to learn the 
beautiful French language, which she thereby 
acquired, because she was so desirous of culture. 
Oh, ye daughters of Eve, what a beautiful ex^ 
ample did your first motlier leave behind her ! 

Dame Venus, the undying goddess of all delight, 
managed for Prince Paris the favour of fair 
Helen ; he violated the holy law of hospitality, 
and fled with his charming booty of beauty to 
Troy — the safe citadel — as we all under the 
same circumstances should doubtless have done.* 
We all, by which I specially mean we Germans, 

^ We, id C8t, I {Heine), — Trandatdr, 



ago SrlAKESPEARE'S ilAIDEXS A.\D U'O.U£A\ 

who, being more learuet] than other races, biiay 
ourselves more from youtli upwards with Homer's 
Bongs. Tho beautiful Helen is onr first love, and 
eveu ill oar boyhood's days, when we sit on the 
Bchool-bench and the master explains to us the 
exquisite Greek verses in which the Trojan gr^- 
bearda were enraptured at the sight of Helen, the 
tnoat enchanting feelings beat in onr yonng in- 
experienced breasts — with blushing cheeks and 
Btammering tongaes we answer the questions in 
grammar put by our preceptor. Later in life, 
wiien we are older and fully taught, and have 
ourselves become wizards, and can raise the very 
devil himself, then we exact from our attendant 
sprite that he shall obtain for us the beantifnt 
Helen from Sparta. I have already said 'that 
John Faust is the true representative of the 
Germans, of the people, who satisfy their deepest 
longing in knowledge and not in life, Althongh 
this famed doctor — the normal German — craves 
and yearns for sensual pleasure, be by no means 
seeks the subject of his gratiGcstion in the 
flowery fields of reality, but in the learned mould 
of the world of books ; and while a French or 
Italian necromancer would have demanded of 
Mephistophelea the fairest woman living, the 
German wants one who died thousands of years 



VIRGILIA. 291 

ago, and who smiles at him as a lovely shade 
from ancient Greek parchment times — the Helen 
of Sparta. How deeply and significantly does 
this yearning set forth the inner being of the 
German people ! 

In TroUus and Cressida Shakespeare has treated 
of Helen as sparingly as he did Cassandra in 
the previous chapter. We see her appear with 
Paris, and she exchanges with the grey-haired 
pander, Pandarus, a few lively mocking passages. 
She rallies him, and at last asks that he shall sing, 
with his old bleating voice, a love-song. But sad, 
sorrowful shadows of forebodings, the foregoing 
feelings of a terrible end, often come before her 
frivolous heart; the serpents stretch out their 
black heads from the rosiest jests, and she betrays 
her deeper feeling in the words : — 

" Let thy song be love. This love will undo 
us all. Cupid! Cupid! Cupid I "^ 



VIRGILIA. 

[CORIOLANUS.] 

She, the wife of Coriolanus, is a shy dove who darea 
not so much as coo in the presence of her over- 

1 Troilus and Cressida, act iii. sc i. 



agl SHAKESPEARES JJAIDE.\S A.VD iroJ/£.V. 

Iianglit; husband. Wlicn be returns victorioua 
from the field, and &11 is exullation and loud re- 
joicmg over liira, she in hnmilitv looks down, and 
the smiling hero calls her "My gracious Silence!"' 
Id this silence lies her whole character; she is 
silent as the blushing rose, as the chaste pearl, 
as the yearning evening star, as the enraptured 
human heart^a perfect, precious, glowing silence, 
which tells more than eloquence, more than all 
rhetorical bombast.^ She is an ever mild and 
modest dame ; and in her tender loreliuess formg 
the clearest contrast to her mother-in-law, the 
Roman she-wolf Volumnia, who once suckled with 
her iron milk the wolf Caius Marcius, Yes, the 
latter is the real matron, and from her aristocratic 
nipples the yooiig brood sucked nothing but wild 
self-will, unbridled defiance, and scorn of the 
people. 

IIow a hero may win the lanrel crown of &me 
from the early imbibing of such virtues and vices, 
but on the other hand lose the civic oaken wreath, 

' C»riolanur, ik^ ii. tc. i. 

" My gracious Silence, hftil I 
Wouldat thou have laugh'd bad I come cofBn'd hom^ 
That weop'ul to Bee me trimnph ! Ah, my dear, 
Such ejes the widown in Carioti wear, 
And motlien that lack bods." 



A 



»nd finally descending to the most atrocious crime, 
or treason to hia native land, disgracefully perish, 
is shosvn by Shakespeare in his drama entitled 
Coriolanus. 

After Troilus and Cressida, in which our poet 
took his material from the old Greek heroic time, 
I take np Coriolantts, because we here see liow 
he understood treating Roman affairs. In this 
drama he sketches the partisan strife of the patri- 
cians and plebeians in ancient Eome. 

I will not directly assert that this portrayal 
agrees extictly in every detail with the annals of 
Soman history ; but our poet has understood 
and depicted the real life and nature of that 
Btrife with deepest truthfulness. We canjuilge 
of this the more accurately because our own times 
afford BO many subjects which recall those of the 
troubled discord which once raged in old Rome 
between the priTileged patricians and the de- 
graded plebeians. We might often deem that 
ispeare was a poet of the present day, who 
lived in the London of our own life, sketching the 
Tories and Radicals of our own time disguised as 
Romans. What might confirm us in such a fancy 

the great resemblance which reallye.xists between 
the ancient Romans and modern Englishmen, and 
the statesmen of both races. In fact, a certain 
prosaic hardness, greed, love of blood, unweary- 
perseverance find firmness of character, is aa 




wUd boA attabwd tte titaiOBt fae^it, Umj wtt 
ymttuflj eqwJ aad alilce. He most strfldng eleo- 
tm afait; b to be otBerved between tbe noUIitr 
tt hoik net*} Tbe English notdeniu], like tKe 
MMe c fce iac te r of jore in Bome, is patriotic ; lore 
fir Us mrnUn Isad keeps him, in spite of *II 
poGticeMegal d ifl neaeea, iotimatelT allied to the 
fleteiiM, nd this synptthftic bond so brings it 
■hoot that tbe Kiglid aristoCTats end democrats, 
like the Wnwai befare them, form one at>d en 
amited nce^ In otber coaotries where nobility 
M boeod, kn to the Inad than to the person of 
him who is tbeir prince, or are devoted to tbe 
peealiar ia to e aJa of their dan, this is oot the 
eMBL HwB i^ain we find among the English, 
oa once amoog the Roman nobles, a striving 
townrds established antboritj as the highest, most 
^orioos, and also indirectly the most profitable— 
I say ndinttlf the roost profitable, becanse, as 
enoe in Borne, so now in England, the manege- 
nent of the highest offices under government are 
made pvoGtaUe only by niifnse of inflaence and 

' Ttme sre tine conipuiHni on the whole. Sfany ;e*n ago 
I r<niiark«l the aitoiubing likeneu between many busts al old 
E«niaiu of the better dw* ukI eeitsfn modern EnglJihiPfM.— ■ I 



iaa FncliihmrWi ■ i ■ 



VIRGILIA. agj 

traditional exactions, that is to say, indirectly. 
~ 3 offices are the aim of yoiithfal education 
in the great families of England, just as they 
were among the Romans, and with the one as 
with the other, skill in war and oratory avail as 
the means to future position. So among the 
English, OS it was among the Romans, the tradi- 
tion of reigning and of administration is the 
hereditary endowment of noble families, and 
throngh this it may be that the English Tories 
will long be indispensable — yes, and so long in 
I power as were the senatoriat families of old 
|. Home. 

But notbing under present circumstances in 
England is so resemblant as the " soliciting suf- 
' f rages," as we see it depicted in Coriolanus. 
I With what bitter and restrnined sourness, with 
I what scornful irony, does the Roman Tory beg for 
' the votes of the good citizens whom he so deeply 
pises in his bouI, and whose approbation is to 
him so absolutely necessary that he may become 
consul. There being, however, this difference — 
that most English lords have got their wounds, 
not in battle but in fos-huuting, and being better 
trained by their mothers in the art of dissimila- 

Ition, do not when electioneering manifest their 
ilf-temper and scorn as did the stubborn Corio- 
lanus. 
As in all things, Shakespeare has exercised ia 



I 



L^>.-S.T.H-S. 2 



rs JLLizsjrs AXD nroJCEX 



~ « 



JL t» =aris vaisa ka de^nei Ids 



insure n::f r^r^ae^ i r jifr ^ngrrfTiX dedazed tiial 
« ^^Bsx^ Hfr vrrixi&i ^cnias& p^*^3$ farad to xkb 



r^T ^-^v ,:a^{:5 :J Tjk^it 5 rcrclarirr was the 

«i a. • 

\3^vir.:::rf -r.ri "»! j:-! '^.e r^^raIed liie people, 
i::vi .!;:< i-Ji'?^-^'^''" ^-^ n:iliirzi* lelt that in 
i.:-": — ,^i: .:e :/* f:ci--r?r :: :L:5<? better davs 
w'- .*>. :i**T T^.-^ r: i~:Tr :^zler his cescezidaiits 
t* : ^r.*rv?^•:7< ; ::r :j:r^>e sheered tc the people 
::< *,!<: ri^.*: — tli:?^ ^ri^^ thezi their dsilv bread. 
We w-.ll;r:^V r^rci"^ the Cv^esirs the bloodiest 
caprlc^:? hy whL-h they arcior^'y disposed of 
huud^^^i^ :: r«i:rl»:iakz :*Ai2.ilies ar.i mocked their 

^ Heiae h^w :s%i3eiS)a5 as cci^icfx. v*ic& be maaiftests in oUi«r 
pa3sa(p» ot ^ vvY^5v th^s tee ric:: pc^sess* »ni keep fma the 
p«.vr. aboadutt means ;o sorcivrt the Lister. — Trandaior. 



FORTJA. 297 

riviieges ; we recognise io them, and that grate- 
hlly, the destroyora of that aristocratic rule which 
[ave the people for the hardest Bcrvice the least 
payment ; we praise them as worldly 
Mviours who, humiliating the lofty and exalting 
lowly, introduced a civic equality. That 
tdvocate of the past, the patrician Tacitus, may 
lescrihe as he will the private vices and mad 
reaks of the Caesars with the most poetic poison, 
know better things of them — tliey fed the 
jeople.^ 

It was Ctesar who led the Roman aristocracy 
J ruin, and prepared the victory of democracy. 
Meanwhile there were many old patricians who 
still cherished in their hearts the spirit of repub- 
licanism; they could not endure the supremacy 
I of a single man, they would not live where one 
raised his head above all theirs, even though it 
were the lordly head of Julius Ctesar — so they 
whetted their daggers and slew him. 

Democracy and monarchy are not enemies, as 
people falsely assert, in these our times. The best 
lemocracy will ever be that where one person 
lands as incarnation of the popular will at the 

' That is tn sny tli.it on the eiil principle iff unlimited " out- 
of-door relief," they, Ilka the motika u! later date witb tbeii 
doles, deliiietaCely created nn army oC incurable paiiperB, who 
were thtrreby foccsd into being retainars and partiaana. They 
iHundeied the world to feed a In^y mob of Horaan aitisens. — 



^KZWrnfafor. 






—If If ml :r ii'* 






••— 



'■ « 



"r* • • . • 



»- - r;. . r*— 



r — i - 



--"»-• 



iri j::i i 



I i 



V 



«i .""LJ 



PORTIA. 299 

sketched Cassias in his dialogue with Brutus, 
when he hears how the people have greeted with 
hurrahs Caesar, whom they wish to raise to king- 
ship : — 

" Gas, I know that virtue to be in you, Brutoa, 
As well as I do know your outward favour. 
Well, honour is the subject of my story. — 
I cannot tell, what you and other men 
Think of this life ; but, for my single self, 
I had as lief not be, as live to be 
In awe of such a thing as I myself. 
I was born free as Caesar ; so were you : 
We both have fed as well ; and we can both 
Endure the winter's cold as well as he : 
For once, upon a raw and gusty day. 
The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores, 
Ccesar said to me, Barest thou, Oassius, now 
Leap in with me. into this angry flood, 
And swim to yonder point ? — Upon the word, 
Accouter*d as I was, I plunged in, 
And bade him follow ; so, indeed, he did. 
The torrent roar'd ; and we did buffet it 
With lusty sinews ; throwing it aside. 
And stemming it, with hearts of controversy. 
But ere we could arrive the point proposed, 
OsBsar cried. Help me, CassiuSy or I sink. 
I, as iEneas, our great ancestor. 
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder 
The old Anchises bear, so, from the waves of Tiber 
Did I the tirM Caesar : And this man 
Is now become a god ; and Cassius is 
A wretched creature, and must bend his body, 
If Caesar carelessly but nod on him. 



JBO SHAKESPEARE'S ttAlDENS AND WOUEH 

11* lutd a fever vbvn ho «u in Spain, 
And, when ibe lit wni on lijm, t did in&rk 
How lie did ihake : tia true, lliia god did b!ib] 
Hit Fcnnrd lipa did frotn their colour fly ; 
And tliftt same eye, ivlioae Wnd dolb awe Llic 
Did lo«<> Ilia lastn ; I did ht.'ar liim grain : 
Ar, uid tkil ton^e of fait, that bade the Romani 
iiirk him, and oriM bis speeches in their books, 
AUs ! It cried. Give me tnnte drink, Ttiiniiu, 
M • sick girl. Ve fpida, it doth amaze me, 
A man of such a feeble temper ihould 
Si) get tbc start of the majestic world, 
And bear tli* palm alone." 

CessarLtniseir knows bis m&n well, aod on 
subject lets fall deeply significant words : 
dialogue with Anthony. 

" Cat. Let me have men about me Ihat are fat ; 
Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep u' ui^hla ; 
Yoiid CiiEsius has a le.'in and hiinsty look j 
He Iliiiiks too mach : sitcli men are daiigeroaa. 

Ant. Fear him not, Omasa, he's not dangerom ; 
He ia iL noble Roman, and well given. 

C*«. 'Wonld he were fatter :— But I fear him 
Yet if my name were liable to fear, 
I du not know the man I should avoid 
So soon as that spare CobsIue. He reails much ; 
He is a great observer, and he looks 
Quite throusli the deeds of nten : he lovei 
As tliua dust. Antony ; he hears no tniuic ; 
Seldom he smiles ; and smiles in such a sort, 
As if he mock'd himwlf, and sconi'd his spirit 
That could be moved lo smile at ntiy thing. 



PORTIA. 3CI 

Such men as he be never at heart's ea?e, 
AVhiles they behold a greater tlian themselves ; 
And therefore are they very dangerous." 

Cassias is a republican, and, as we often see in 
Buch men, is more attracted by noble friendship 
in men than by the tender love of women. 
Brutus, on the contrary, sacrifices himself for the 
republic — not because he is by nature a republi- 
can, but because he is a hero of virtue, and sees 
in sacrifice the highest demand of duty. He is 
susceptible to all soft feelings, and clings with 
tenderest love to his wife, Portia. 

Portia, a daughter of Cato, altogether a Eoman 
woman, is, however, worthy of love, and even 
in her highest flights of heroism betrays the 
most feminine feeling and shrewdest womanly 
nature. With anxious looks of love she watches 
every shadow on the brow of her husband, be- 
traying his troubled thoughts. She will know 
what torments him, she mil share the burden of 
the secret which oppresses his soul ; and when 
at last she knows it, she is after all a woman, and 
being well nigh conquered by the frightful care, 
cannot conceal it, and must needs confess. 

" I have a man's mind, but a woman's might. 
How hard it is for a woman to keep counsel ! ' 



y>2 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDESS AND WOMEN 



CLEOPATRA. '' 

[aNTONY and CLEOPATRA.] 

Yks, this is the famed Qaeen of Egypt who roinecl 
Antony. 

He knew perfectly that this woman was lead- 
ing him to destrnction, and he would fidn tear 
himself away from the magic fetters : — 

'* I niu^t with baste from hence I " 

II flies — only to return all the sooner to 
the flesh-pots of Egypt, to his serpent of old Niloi 
as he calls her ; soon finding himself again with 
her in the luxurious mud of Alexandria, and 
thoro, as Octavius relates — 

** V the market-place, on a trilnuial silvei^tl, 
Oleopatra and liimself in chairs of gold 
Were publicly enthroned : at the feet sat 
Ctosarion, wlioni they call iny father's son, 
And all the unlawful issue, that their lust 
Since then liaih made between them. Unto her 
lie gave the Establishment of Egypt ; made her 
Of lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia, 
Absolute queen. . . . 

r the common 8ho\v-i)lace, where they exercise, 
}Iiu sons he there proclaim'd the kings of kings : 
Great Me<lia, Partliia, and Armenia, 
He gave to Alexander ; to Ptolemy he assi«jn'd 
Syria, Cilicia, and Phoenicia : she 




CLEOPA TRA. 

la tlie habilinieats of the podJcss I=i3 

Tliiit (la; appeai'd ; atid ofi before guvo auJIe 

Ab 'lis reporteii, eo,' 



303 ^^^ 



The Egyptian sorceress holds not only hia hand 
captive, but even his brain, and bewildera his 
talent as a general. Instead of fighting on firm 
land where he had always conquered, he gives 
battle on the treacherous sea, where hia bravery 
was of less avail ; and there, where the capricious 
womnn obstinately followed him, she fled with all 
her ships in the critical instant of the combat, 
and Anthony, " like a doting mallard," * with out- 
spread sail-wings fled after her, leaving fortune 
and honour in the lurch. 

But it was not merely from the womanish 
cuprices oF Cleopatra that the unfortunate hero 
suffered the most disgraceful defeat ; for she after- 
wards treated him with the blackest treason, and 
in complicity with Octavius went with her whole 
fleet over to the enemy. She betrayed him in 
the most despicable manner, either to save her 
own goods in the shipwreck of his fortunes, or to 
fish some greater advantage for herself out of the 
troubled waters. She drives him to despair and 
death by deceit and lies, and yet to the very last 
he loves her with all his heart — yea, after every 
treachery his love flashes np the more wildly. 

' Antony and Cleopatra, act iii. bc. 6, 



i 



s^I^JjrS MJklDESS AXD WOJIEX. 

rc ««tL.s sfber ereiy tiick, be knows 
szi£ lis MEier judgment expresses 

ii»<-.i: n. r:t« r.ncsK: i&n29e;wlieQ he says with 



jal: ^;Mie: tn 2 k»ev tm :— Hal 

J^ n:« UMi iMMi* fit. iaeafls I 

-•- ^. T.^ -ivf iieto. & ^tecTicr ever ; — 



T... »-.uT \ i ;l nnr vi-iMi>ii«* ^rov kanl. 






I 

•I. LT «<irr ^}u. orrtT ra? cjeftr jndgnDCStit ; make vm 
A«j « nirr stttcv : laificl: 

w^ .... * . 



."': J*r: 'c> T.'iT. ^%rv? : "ii > -rtf t*":x: loUer hours, 
T ..rr. "* . - r .:. c::?s5 v':,k: lesLieraijoe should be. 



: .,K? ::.r <'>^^^ 



;x*ir c: Aciilles, which could 
h:v/. ::2^ v:...::;5.> ^: :.i :: c£ve, the mouth of the 
KC.'^^ .-r.;- v-^r. 1:aI a^h xrlih iis kisses the 
.^cii.:;"^: 5^:,/:^ ^li:c':. r.is siarp words had given 
tc her fr-r.incs^ And after that infamv which 
t:.o >erv'C'^: ^ :\va X:> h?.-i indicted on the Roman 

* Ja: • t m%d C^ci'patra^ ack iii. scl ii. 



CLEOPATRA. 305 

wolf, and after every curse which he had howled 
at her — the pair kiss d la Florentine the more 
tenderly/ even in dying he presses on her lips 
the last of so many kisses. 

And she, the Egyptian snake, how she loves 
her Roman wolf ! Her betrayals are only the ex- 
ternal irrepressible twinings and coils of her evil 
serpent nature ; she practises them mechanically, 
because they are in her inborn or habitual habit, 
but in the depth of her soul there is the deepest 
unchanging love for Antony. Yes, she herself 
knows not how strong it is. Many a time she 
thinks she can conquer or play with it, but she errs, 
and the error will appear to her at the moment 
when she loses the man whom she loves, and her 
agony bursts forth in the sublime words : — 

" CUo, I dreani'd, there was an emperor Antony ; — 
0, such another sleep, tbat I might see 
But such another man ! 

DoL If it might please you, — 

Cleo. His face was as the heavens ; and therein stuck 
A sun, and moon ; which kept their course, and lighted 
The little 0, the eaith. 

Ihl, Most sovereign creature, — 

^ Zilngdn, to kitis, touching the tongues together — the baisir 
d la Florentine, In that remarkable work, Delle Bizzarerie 
AMdemiehe, by Gio. Francesco Loredano, Venice, 1667, there is 
a chapter on tliis subject, but according to him this peculiar 
osculation is effected by holding the ears of the subject, and 
kissing lip to lip. French writers define it as I have done. 

U 



xBt 52:*»izs?5Jj:r:s maldexs axd women. 



'iea^ Jiaxsai ;uc xeozi : kii mrM arm 



^:.^zx sc jMJM& a (o&I J3il duke die orl]^ 
itk vas- ;&> s-.ttiim^ ^anrnriT Fir is ooimtT, 

.;m mns >r aagimr 



y.r JlcMp)&£r% Ss — ft wcizLKx. She loTes and 
^fcr^'*^ 4i: "rni} sune Unv^. I: is a mistake to 
>it\it«^-T* ^ttu irnntfiL 'vaeir soej faetraj us haYe 
ce«£^ X* ^^5^. mie^- oiIt SbCow their inborn 

:iudrrf . lau j:' "iiif ▼LI 2jm ^nrrcj tae forbidden 
,'^rr* -v^' ^ii'i ic tnc^c i ^ fr^ci it, or lick the 
^r :•.. lis 7: 3^?^ T'luz pciscc ^aeces like. Next 
». 5v^.i^^>^'\:>i."^?. :i^' :ce iiiii? siKCcried this fact so 
>\*.. i:> ,\: Jl^c^ Fr^'T-rsc lz. iis zoTel " Manon 
",.>o» ;'. * Tie ji:x.^Cii :c aj:e zre&:esr poet here 
^v. :vuit5S^ ¥-1^ ^e sccvr :^cser«udoii of uie coldest 

\ .>v I > ."!«iccucri :;> i -v-rcziz. in. :iie blessedest 
4 :o , . "^x V^~ <^c:?e :>;" ^Iie Tfiiril See reminds 
irx* ^"i' :.m: si .':«: :: L^s^km:, "* Wiien G^jd made 
>*cinja: H>f *^vk sTJij c^f rcc ±ic» ^ qoiilitT ! * The 
^.\:r5fcr<* :^coecrwt55> ,^f Hi;s sai^jrial does not agree 
w;ai :i«? r??*:x:r^ci!«?ii:s of li:^. This creatare is at 



CLEOPATRA. 307 

once too good and too bad for this world. The 
most charming attractions are here the cause of 
the most repulsive frailties. With enchanting 
truth Shakespeare sketches even at the first 
appearance of Cleopatra the variegated fluttering 
spirit of caprice which is always rioting in the 
brain of the beautiful queen, which often jets 
and sprays in the most notable questions and 
fancies, and is perhaps really the basis of all her 
actions and behaviour. Nothing is more charac- 
teristic than the fifth scene of the first act, where 
she asks her maid for mandragora, so that this 
narcotic may fill up her time while Antony is 
gone. Then the devil teases her to call her 
eunuch Mardian. He humbly asks what his 
mistress requires. I will not hear singing, she 
says, for naught that an eunuch can do pleases 
me now ; but tell me, Dost ever feel passion ? 
" Hast thou affections ? " 

" Mar. Yes, gracious madam. 

Cleo, Indcod? 

Mar, Not in deed, madam, for I can do nothing 
But what, in deed, is honest to be done : 
Yet have I fierce aflfections, and think,' 
What Venus did with Mars. 

Cleo, Charmian, 
Where think'st thou he is now ? Stands he, or sits he 1 
Or does he walk 1 or is he on his horse ? 
happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony ! 
Do bravely, horse I for wot'st thou whom thou mov'st ] 



308 SlIAKESPEARES UAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

The ili'ini-AilBS of IhU earth, the arm 
And Liurgouct of m^n. — iln'a tpeaking now. 
Or murmuring, Wherit my terpeitt of old Nilt t 
For BO he calla me ; Kow I ferf myself 
With most dcliciona poison : — Think on tne, 
That am with Plitebos' amoroiu piiicliM bl:ick, 
Anil wrinkled deep in time 1 Broad 'fronted Cccmt, 
When thou wa«t here ubore the ground, I was 
A morsel fur a mi'narcli : an<1 grciil Ptiuipej' 
Would Bland, and make liia eyes grow in mj brow ; 
Tlierc would lie anchor hi« aspect, and die 
With looking on his life." ' 

If I may boldly Epeak out all my thonght, 
learing no sltinderous earc&Mlc smiles, I would 
8oy that, candidly confessed, this helter-skelter 
thought and feeling of Cleopatra — the result of 
nn irregular, idle, and troubled life — reminds me 
of a certain class of spendthrift women, whose 
expensive housekeeping is defrayed by an out- 
of-wedlock generosity, and who torment and 
bless their titular spouses very often with love 
and fidelity; though nob seldom with love alone, 
bub always with wild whima. And was she in 
reality different from them — this Cleopatra, who 
could not maintain her unheard-of luxury with 
the Egyptian crown-revenue, and who took from 
Antony, her Roman enlrdeneur, the squeezed-out 
treasures of whole provinces for " presents " — 
and in the true eetise of the word, was a kept— - 
queen ! 

' Antovy ami Cicopativ, act L sc 5, 



CLEOPATRA. 



309 Jl 



) 



In tbe ever excited, irregular mind of G 
patra, made of extremes tossed together by re 
less chance, a soul oppressively saltry, there flashes 
like heat-lightning all the time a sensuoos, wild, 
and brimstone-yellow wifc, which rather frightena 
than pleases, Plutarch gives us an idea of this wit, 
which shows itself more in deeds than words, and 
even in school I laughed with all my heart at 
the mystified Antony, who went with his queenly 
love fishing, but drew up on his Hue a salt fish 
— the crafty Egyptian dame having employed 
divers, one of whom had fastened it on his iiook. 
Our teacher indeed fcowned at this anecdote, and 
blamed the wicked wantonness with which tho 
queen risked the lives of her subjects, the poor 
divers, to carry out a jest; but onr teacher was 
not a friend to Cleopatra, and he made us speci- 
ally observe how Antony, through her, destroyed 
his whole public career, got himself involved in 
domestic difficulties, and at last plunged headlong 
into ruin. 

Yes, my old teacher was quite right — it ia 
utterly dangerous to enter into intimate relations 
with such a person as Cleopatra. A hero can 
go to the devil in this way, but only a hero. 
Good commonplaceness suffers no danger here— 
nor anywhere. 

The posUion of Cleopatra was as intenselj 
droll as her character. This capricious-peevish, ' 




MkiDg, weatlior-rain, feverishly coqnet- 
tUb woQian, tliis Pariaienne of the olden time, 
this goddesa of life, juggled aod ruled over Egypt, 
tlie Btark silent land of the dead. Yon know 
it well, that Egypt, that Mizraim full of mystery, 
that narrow Nile strip, looking like a coffin. In 
the high reeds still griooed the crocodile or the 
deserted child of Revelation. . . . Hock temples 
with colossal pillars, on which recline grotesque 
wild forms of horrihly varied hues ... in the 
portal nods the numk of Isis, with hieroglyphed 
head-gear . , . iu luxurious villas, iiiummiea are 
taking their siestas, and the gilded masks protect 
them from the Bwarma of flies of decay . , . there 
stand the slender obelisks and plump pyramids, 
like silent thoughts ... in the backgroimd we 
are greeted by the mountains of the Moon of 
Ethiopia, which hide the sources of the Nile — 
everywhere death, stone, and mystery. And over 
tliis land, the beautiful Cleopatra ruled as queen. 
How witty God is ! 



LA VINIA . 
[titus andronicus.] 

Im Julius CiBsar we see the last throbs of the 
republican spirit, which struggles in vain with 



* 



^1 the mooarc 
■ and BrutuE 

I 



LAVmiA. 



the raonarcliy; tlie republic has outlived itself, 
and Brutus and Cassias can only murder the 
man who first grasped at the royal crown, but 
are in no degree able to kill the royal form of 
government which is deeply rooted in the needs 
of the age. In Antoni/ ajid Cleopatra we see 
how, in place of a fallen Cajsar, three other 
Caesars stretch forth daring hands to the sove- 
reignty of the world, the problem of principles 
is solved, and the strife which breaks out between 
these triumvirs is only the persona! question, 
"Who shall be Emperor, lord of all men and 
lands?" The tragedy entitled Tiliis Androniciis 
shows U3 that even unlimited autocracies in tlie 
Roman realm follow the law of all earthly events, 
that is, to pass into decay, and nothing is mora 
repulsive than those ]at«r Ctesars who, to the 
madness and crimes of Nero and Caligula, added 
the windiest weakness. Nero and Caligula 
indeed grow giddy on the vast height of their 
power ; thinking themselves above humanity they 
became inhuman, believing they were gods they 
became godless ; but in contemplating their mon- 
strosity we can no longer measure them with 
the rule of reason. The later Ceesars, on the 
contrary, are rather subjects of our pity, our dis- 
like, our disgust ; they are wanting in the heathen 
Belf-deification, the intoxication of a sense cf 
their own majesty, their terrible irresponsibility j 




I^YINIA. 

found in any aatlior. The Mstory of Pliilomelft, 
in Ovid's " Metamorphoses," is not by far so awful, 
for the very hands of the wretched Roman maiden 
are hacked off lest she should betray the prime 
movers of the dreadful piece of wickedness. Aa 
the father by his stem manliness, so the daughter 
by her grand feminine dignity, reminds na of the 
more moral past; she dreads not death but dis- 

I honour; and deeply tonehing are the words with 
which she implores mercy of her enemy, the 
Empress Tamora, when Ihe sons of the latter will 

I dafile ber person : — 

"'Tis present lienih I beg ; nud one thing wore, 
That womanhood ileiiies my tongue to tell : 
0, keep iLie from their worae than killing bisf, 
And tumUe me into sorae loatlianme pit, 
Where uever man's eyes may beliulJ iriy l>o(ly ; 
Do this, and be a cliuritable nmnlei'er."! 

In this virginal purity Lavinia forms the fullest 
contrast to the Empress Tamora; and here, as 
in most of his dramas, Shakespeare places two 
entirely different types of woman together, and 
renders their characters clearer by the contrast. 
This we have already seen in Antony ajid Oleo- 
palra, where our dark, unbridled, vain aad ardent 
Egyptian comes forth more statnesqnely by the 
white, cold, moral, arch- prosaic and domestic 
Octavia. 

u Andronitii*, act ii. ac 3. 




314 SHAKBSPEARES MAiDBNS AND WOME.V. 

And yet that Tamora 13 a fine figure, and I 
thiDk it is an injustice tliat the English graver 
haa not traced her portrait in this Gallery of 
Shakespearean ladies. She is a magnificently 
majestic woman, an enchanting and imperial 
figure, on whose brow are the marks of a fallen 
deity, in her eyes a world -devoo ring lest, 
splendidly vicious, panting with thirst for red 
blood. Pitying and far-seeing as our poet ever 
is, he has beforehand justified, in the first scene 
where Taraora appears, all the horrors which she 
at a later time inflicted on Andronicns.' For 
this grim Roman, unmoved by her most agonised 
mother's prayers, suffers her son lo be put to death 
before her eyes; and as soon as ehe sees in the 
wooing favour of the young Emperor the raya of 
hope of future vengeance, there roll forth from her 
lips the esultant and darkly foreboding words: — 

■' I'll Rud a day to luassatre lliera all, 
AiiU razu tlj^ir fnction and their fnmily, 
The cruel falher anJ bis traitorous sons, 
To whom I iu£d for my dear son's life ; 
And make them know whnt 'lis to let a qiiren 
Kneel in tlie streets, aoi! beg for graoe in vain."' 

' Tlii« >yn<path; »ith Tamora and ber liiidication Rre not 
crEdilAble to Heine. It is difficult to uaderstanii buw the 
MoriRce at AUrbui, in acconlBTice with the custom if tlis 
timn, juitifles the outraging and mutilRtion of Lavinia. Tha 
tmcei of iliTiTiit; In Tainom are indned very faiat. — Tranilalor 

' Tiiu4 Andraakui, act I ac 3. 



I 



LAVINIA. 31S 

As her cruelty is excused by the excess of 
Bufferinga which she endured, so the barlot-likfl 
looseness with wbich she abandons herself to a 
disgusting negro is to a degree ennobled by the 
romantic poetry which is manifested in it. Yes, 
that scene in which the Empress, having left; her 
cortige during a hunt, finds herself alone in the 
wood with her beloved black, belongs to the 
most terribly sweet magic pictures of romantic 
poetry — 

"My lovely Aaron, wlierefore luuk'sL thou a.nl, 
When everyUiin^'dolh make a gleeful boiiatl 
The binla chamit luelutly oa every bush ; 
The aiittke lies roIlM in the cheerful sun ; 
The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind, 
And make a chequer"!! shadow on the ground ; 
Under their Eweet shade, Aaron, let ns sit, 
And, wliilst the babbling echo mocka the hounds, 
Beplying shrilly to the well-timed horns, 
' Ab if a double hant were heard at once. 

Let us sit down and mark their yelling noiae ; 
And, — after conflict, such as was sappos'd 
The wandering prince and Dido once eujoy'd, 
When with a happy ai^rm they were aurpris'd. 
And curtain'd with a counsel-keepiag cave, — 
We may, each wreathtd in the other'a arms, 
Our pastimes done, possess a golden alumber j 
Whiles hounds, and horns, and aweet melodious birds, 
unto us, as is a nurse's song 
lullaby, to bring her babe to sleep."* 



^L Be unl 

■ Of hai 



• HUiii Andronic\ 



3i6 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDES'S AND WOMEN. 

bat while the gleams of passion flash from the 
eyes of the beautiful Empress and play oa the 
block form of the negrO) like decoy lights or curl- 
ing flamefl, he thinka uf far more senoas thinga — 
on the execution of the most infamons intrignes, 
and bis anavrer forms the mdest contrast to the 
irapasaioned appeal of Tamom. 



CONSTANCE. 

[king JOHN.] 

It was in tie year 1827 after the birth of 
Christ that I gradually went to sleep in the 
theatre in Berlin during the first representation 
of a new tragedy by Herr E. HaQpach. 

For the highly cultured public which doea not 
go to the theatre, and only reads that which is 
strictly literature, I must here remark that the 
Herr Raupach referred to is a very useful man, 
who supplies tragedies and comedies, and pro- 
vides the stage of Berlin every mouth with a 
new masterpiece. The Berlin stage is admir- 
able, and one especially useful for Hegelian 
pbilosophera who wish to refresh themselves by 
repose in the evening after hard work during 
the beat of the day. The sou! reinvigonites 



I 



L 



CONSTAJICE. 3,f 

itself there far more in accordance with nature, 
than hy Wisotzki. Ooe goea into the theatre, 
stretches Iiimself carelessly on the velvet seat, 
looka through his opera-glaas at the faces of 
his fair neighbours or the legs of the lady- 
dancers, and if the fellows on the stage don't 
shout too loudly, he goes to sleep comfortably 
and peaceably — even as I did on the 2gth of 
Augnst 1 827. P. M. C. 

When I awoke all was dark and drear around 
me, and by the light of a dim flickering lamp 
1 saw that I was alone in the theatre. I deter- 
mined to pass the rest of the night there, and 
tried to softly sink again to slumber, whii3h did 
not succeed so easily as it had done some hours 
before, when the poppy perfume of the Eaupach 
rhymes had risen to my brain ; and I was, more- 
over, much disturbed by the squeaking and cheep- 
ing of mice. Near the orchestra rustled and 
bustled a whole colouy of the i/evs Mus; and as 
I understand not only Eaupachian verses, but 
also the languages of all other kinds of animals, 
I involuntarily overheard all the mice said. They 
conversed on subjects such as would naturally 
interest a thinking being — the ultimate basis of 
all phenomena, the nature of things in and for 
themselves, fate, freewill, foreknowledge absolute, 
and the great Eaupachian tragedy, which had with 
all conceivable horrors not long before unfolded, 



J 



3i8 SHAKESPEARE-S UAIDBNS AND WOXtES. 

developed iteeir, nnd ended before tlicir very 
eyes. 

" Yoa young people," slowly said nn old mouse 
of stately and commandiug preseace, " you have 
only Been a Binfjle play — at best but a few — but 
I am gi'ey, and It^ive lived through many and 
marked them al) with care. And I have found 
that in reality they nre all alike, tliat they are 
generally variations on the same theme; and that 
very often the same aituatious, entanglements, 
and catastrophes are set before us. They are 
always the same men witli the aamo passions, 
who only change costunies and fij^ures of epeech. 
There are always the same motives of action, love 
or hate, or ambition, or envy or jealousy, whether 
the hero wears a Roman toga or old German 
mail, a turban or a felt hat, and whether he 
Bpeaks simply or iu flowery verse, in bad iambics, 
or even worse trochees. The whole history of 
mankind, which people are bo prone to divide into 
different dramas, acts and entrances, is after all 
one and the same story, only a masked come- 
ronnd-again procession of the same natures and 
occurrences, an ortfanio rotation in orbit, which 
begins anew from the same initial; and when one 
has once realised this, he no longer bewails the 
bad nor rejoices too readily over the good — he 
amilea at the folly of the heroes who sacrifice 
themselves for the perfection and prosperity ol 



CONSTANCE. 



tlie bumaii race, and 
composure." 

A tittering, giggling little voice, which seemed 
to be that of a small shrewd mouse, here quickly 



" I too have seen a thing or two. and that not 
merely from a single place or view. I never 
spared myself in jumping high nor balked a leap 
for knowledge ; I left the pit and looked at things 
behind the stage itself, where I made etnrtling 
discoveries. The hero whom I had just admired 
is no hero, for I saw how a young fellow called 
him a drunken rascal, and gave him kicks which 
he quietly received. The virtuoug princess who 
appeared as sacrificing her life to save her virtue, 
is no more a princess thau she is virtuous ; I have 

■ seen how she took red powder from a china cup 
to colour her cheeks — and this passed in tlie play 
for the blush of modesty; and, after all, she threw 
herself yawning into the arms of a lieutenant of 
the guards, who told her on hia word of honour 
ahe'd find in hia room a atuunin' herrin' salad 
and a glass of punch, ^ What you thought was 
thunder and lightning is only the rolling of tin 
cylinders and the burning of a few crumbs of 
^^ pulverised rosin. Even that portly, honourable 
^L citizen who seemed to be all unselfishness and 

L 



' Einen Jvlcn Ilirwysalat ntbit tinem Qlaie Puruei. 
{('.(., Y) for G is oharaoteriBtio o[ the Fraasian dialect. 



po SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOilE!^. 

generosity, (jitarrelled most miserly about motiey 
with a nipftf^e man wiiom he culled the chief 
manager, and from whom he wanted a foiv thalera 
of extra pay. Yes, I have seen a!l with ray owq 
eyes, and heard with my own ears, all the c^atuess 
and nobility which is acted before as is all sham and 
flam. Self-interest and selfishness are the secret 
springs of all actions, and an intelligent being will 
not let itself be humbagged by outside ehow." 

Here, however, there rose a sighing, sorrowful 
voice which seemed familiar to my ears, though 
I know not whether it was of a mouse male or 
a mouse femiQine. She began with a wail over 
(he frivolity of the age, lamented its unbelief and 
scepticism, and said a great deal about her love 
for everything and everybody, "I love yon," 
she sighed, "and 1 tell you the truth. And 
Truth revealed itself to me through grace in a 
blessed hour. I was on a pilgrimage, going about 
here and there trying to attain to a revelation 
or comprehension of the various deeds which are 
done on this earthly stage, and also to pick up 
some crumbs to satisfy my bodily hunger — for 
I love you. And it came to pass that I found 
a spaciouB hole — yes, my friends^a chest, in 
which there sat crouching a thin grey dwarf,' 
who held in his hand a roil of paper, and with 
a slow monotonous voice he repeated to himself 
' This rer«n to the prompter in bii boi. — Tramlator. 



all the speecLea which are (Jeclaimed before cs so ] 
loudly and passionately on tlie stage. A mystio 1 
Ehndder Hurried all my fur. I knew tliat, despite | 
my un worthiness, I had attaiEed grace to see into ' 
the Holy of Holies. I found myself in the blessed 
presence of the mysterious First-being — the pure 
Spirit who rules the corporeal world with his will, 
who creates it with a word, inspires it with » 
word, and with a word destroys — for I saw that 
the heroes on the stage whom I had a little while 
before so greatly admired, only spoke confidently 
when they, in absolute confiding faith, my dear 
friends, repeated the test exactly as he gave it — 
yea, and that they stumbled and stnttered when 
they in their pride turned from his waya and 
listened not unto the sound of his voice. All 
beings I beheld depended on him. He was the | 
only self-esistent one in his all-holiest ark. On I 
every side thereof glowed the mystic lamps, rang I 
the violins, and softly pealed the flutes; around j 
him was light and music — he Bwam in harmoni- 1 
)us rays and flashing harmonies." ... 1 

Then the speech became so nasal and weep- 
ingly whispering that I understood but little 
more, only now and then I caught the words, 
" Deliver na from cats and mouse-traps — give 
us each day our daily bread crumbs — I love ye 1 
—in eternity. Amen t " I 

L By giving this dream I endeavour to set forth j 



I 
I 



JJI S1IAKESPEARE.S UAIDEKS ASD WOMES. 

my viewa os to Uie different ptilosophiral poiut« 
of new nbeDca men regard liistory, at the same 
time showing why I do not load these light 
leaves with any peculiar philosophy of English 
history. 

For I will not, nboTe all things, analyse or 
dogmatically elucidate that in which Shakespeare 
has ennobled the great events of English chronicle, 
but only decorate with a few arabesqnes of words 
the portraits of the women who bloom in those 
poems. And as in these English historical dramas 
the women pluy anything but chief parts, and as 
the poet never lets them appear as female char- 
acters and figures, as we generally see them in 
Other plays, but simply because the plot requires 
their presence, so will I speak the more sparingly 
of til em. 

Constance begins the dance, or is first in the 
procession, nod that sorrowfully enough. She 
beoTB her child, like a Mater dolorosa, on her arm 
— the oppressed hoy 

" Who is not iJui;ucJ fur lier ein,' 
But Qud baih made her ain and ber the plague 
Of iliia removed i>Eii&" 

I once saw the port of this mourning qneen 

admirably acted on the Berlin stage by Madame 

Stioh. Much less brilliant was the qneen, Maria 

' That of Queen Elinor. Etn^ John, act i. ic. 3. 




LADY PERCY. 323 

I^uisa, wbo, ciuring the French inTasion, played 
Queen Constance in the royal French theatre. 
But miserahle beyond all measure in thia part 
was a certain Madame Caroline, who acted about 
in the provinces. She wanted neither beauty, 
talent, nor passion — unforttinately she had too 
big a belly, which always injures an actress when 
ehe most act grandly tragic parts.' 



LADY PERCY. 
[kin'g henry IV.] 

[ I HAD imagined her face, and especially her form, 
I less plomp, or cvibonpoini, than is here repre- 
sented. Uut it may be that the sharp traits and 
slender form which are apparent in her words, 
and which her spiritual physiognomy presents, 
contrast the more interestingly with her well- 
rounded outer form. She is cheerful, cordial, 
and Bound in body and soul. Prince Henry, who 
woald fain make a jest of this agreeable person- 
age, thus parodies her and ber Percy :— 

■ Notwithatimdins the clEverDEBs of the fable of lbs uiioe, 
Iheee commatitB on Outietance must be prundunced an utter 
failure as regards appreoiatloo q£ the ch»raoter, whiJo tbo con- 
clusion, cantajntag bd alluaioD to 0. political ptrsonoge, which is 
it worth expluining, ia like the lust whoop with an unacomly 
■atura of a clown leniing the ring. — Translator, 



3=4 SHAKESPEARE'S UAIDBNS AND WOUEfT. 

"I ua not yet of Percy'i mind, tlie lloUpiir of vlia 
Kuilb ; lie tliai kilU me *ome tix or svicii dozeiia or Scoli 
at a brcakfait, nu'biM liU IjhuOs, and sajt to liis wife — 
Fy upon lAu juwt l^i I I vxmt vx/rk. my wwett Harry, 
»nji slie, hour viany ktut t/iou kiUtd to-dny 1 Give my roan 
hmK a drendi, tajt lie ; aud ansnen, Somi /uurUen, an 
liuur after ; a trifit, a vifit." ' 

Tliifi scene, in whicli we see the retil domestic 
life of rercy and his wife, is as deligiitfal as 
it is snccinct — a scene in which she cliecks the 
boisterous hero with the boldest words : — 

"iaJy Pf"^- Come, come, you poraqiiilo, anawer me 
Directly uuto tliis queBiion tlmt 1 ask : 
In faith, I'll break thy little fiugor, Ilarry, 
An if ihou wilt uot tell me all things tmeb 

IIoUpuT. Awny, 
AiA-ny, jou triOer 1— Love 1 — I love thee not, 
I caie not for Ihte, Kate : this is no world 
To jilay -ailh nmmmeta, and to tilt with lip? : 
We mu^t have bloody noses and crack'd crowna, 
And pass them current too, — Gods me, my horse I— 
WliaC »ay'st tboii, Kale 1 wlint wouldst thou have with me | 

Lady Pirey. Do you not love me 1 do you not, indeed ? 
Well, do not, llien ; fur since you love me not, 
I wdl not love mjiclf. Do you not love rae) 
Nny, Itll me if you speak in jest or no. 

HottpitT. Come, wilt thou eee me ride t 
And «'liiiL I nm o' horseback, I will swtar 
I love ihee iiifiiiiiely. But hark you, Kate ; 
1 must not lave you Lenceforlh queatiou me 
Whither I go, nor reason whereabout ; 




PRINCESS KATHARINE. 

Wliither I must, I mnat ; and, to conclude, 
This eveniDg must I leave jou, genlk Kute. 
I know you wiae ; but yet no farther "'iae 
Than Iltirry Percy's wife ; constant jou are ; 
But yet a Moiiian : iiiiil for secrecy, 
No laily closer ; for I well believe 
Thou wilt not Hlter what thou tlost not knon-, — 
And GO fur \Yill I trust thee, geatle Kate." ' 



PRINCESS KATHARINE. 
[king henry v.] 

Did Shakespeare really write the scene in which 
the Princess Katharine tabes a lesson in the 
English language, and are all the French phrases 
in it with which John Bull is so much pleased, 
his own ? I doubt it. Oar poet might have pro- 
duced the same comic effect by means of an 
English jargon, and all the more easily becausa 

I the English language has this peculiarity, that, 
without being ungrammatical, it can by the 
mere use of Latin * words and constructions bring 
out a certain French expression of thought. la 
: 



F!rsl Fart of Eina Umry 17., not ii. EC 3, 

liomaaache WorUr, not lit«ra]ty Latin wordi, Ltut those of 

in derivatiun.— T^'anjlotor. 



526 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

the same maiiDer xm English dramatist could 
indicate ct suggest a German style of thonght, 
if he would use old Saxon expressions and in- 
flections. For the English language consists of 
two heterogeneous elements, the Latin and the 
German, which, being merely squeezed together, 
do not form an organic whole, and which easily 
fall apart — when we cannot decide as to which 
side the real English belongs. One has only to 
compare the language of Doctor Johnson or of 
Addison with that of Byron or Cobbett. It was 
really quite unnecessary for Shakespeare to let 
the Princess Katharine talk French. 

This leads me back to a remark which I have 
alreadv made. It is a defect in the historical 
draina of Shakespeare that he does not contrast 
the Xorman French spirit of the higher nobility 
with the Soxon British spirit of the people by 
means of characteristic forms of speech. Walter 
Scott did this in his novels, and thereby attained 
his most startling effects. 

The artist who has contributed to this gallery 
the portrait of the French princess has, perhaps 
inspired by English malice, given her features 
more expressive of drollery than beauty. She 
has here a true bird face, and her eyes look as 
if they belonged to some one else. Are those 
parrot's feathers which she wears on her head, 
and are they intended to indicate her babbling 



yOAN OF ARC. 3^7 

echoes and docility ? She has little white in- 
quisitive hands, her whole soul is the vain love 
of adornment and coquetry, and she can flirt 
most charmingly with her fan. I would wager 
that her feet coquet with the ground on which 
fihe walks. 



JOAN OF ARC. 
[first part of king henry VI.] 

Hail to thee, great German, Schiller, who didst 
purify gloriously the great monumental statue from 
the smutty wit of Voltaire, and the black spots 
with which it was libelled even by Shakespeare's 
song.^ Yes, whether it was British national 
hatred or mediaaval superstition which darkened 
his mind, our poet has represented the heroic 
maid as a witch allied to the dark powers of 
hell. He makes her evoke the demons of the 
underworld, and her dire and cruel execution is 
justified by this assumption. A deep discontent is 

^ Den sehioarzen FUclen, die ihm sogar Sluikeapaare angc' 
dichteU 2>»cAt«n, to codipoae as an author. Andicltten, to inyent 
a charge against one, to libel, to impute falsely against. — 2Vani- 
lalor. 



3i3 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AKD WOilES. 

always in my niiud when I walk over tlie little 
market-place uf Rouen, where the Maid was 
burned, and where a bnd statue immortallsea the 
bad deed. To put to death by tortnre ! That 
was your fashion then towards fallen foes ! Next 
nfter the rock of St, Helena, the market-place 
ijf Eouen gives the most revolting proof of the 
uiagnaniuiity of Englishmen. 

Yes, even Shakespeare sinned against the Matd, 
and if he does not manifest decided enmity, hn 
treats the noble virgin who freed her fatherland 
in a manner which is both nnfriendly nnd nn- 
nraiable. And, had she done it with the help of 
hell, she would have deserved for it honour and 
admiration. 

Or are the critics in the right when they deny 
that the play in which the Maid is introduced, as 
well as the second and third parts of Henry VI., 
were not written by the great poet? They 
declare that this trilogy bflougs to the older 
dramas, which he only worked over. I would 
gladly, if it were only for the sake of the Maid 
of Orleans, assent to this. But the arguments 
adduced are not tenable. These disputed dramas 
manifest in many places far too decidedly the 
perfect stamp of the genius of Shakespeare.* 

> Heine in thii paper nsFiunies as a nettled tbing thnt all tba 
dttnila and trutha as regnriia Joui of Arc sre perfectly known, 
uid that tliey ate (ully eet (orlti by Scbiller. Id IkX it is a 



MARGARET. 

[first part of king henry VI.] 

Hebe we see the beautiful daughter of Conat 
Eeignier as yet a maid. Suffolk enters, leading 
her as captive, but ere ha himself is aware she 

very doubtful matter whether tho Mnltl vviu erer bamed at 
1, and nbether she did nob marry and become tba inotlier uf 
I k larga family. Aa regnrds witchcraft, biid Heine lived In 
Shakespeare's tlm> ho would certainly have believed in it heart 
ioul. But thers ia no proof that Shalceapeare was saper- 
ua in any renpect. Joan of Aro gave it out, and pcrhapa 
herself believed, that ahe waa viaited by apirita, and in a credu- 
luua age she naturally brought upon herself tbe charge of being 
■ sonKresa. Shakespeare simply used the generally accredited 
tradition as a dramatist. Heine appears here to have totally 
forgotten that in Germany, long after the time of Joan of Arc, 
many tbonsands of witches, who did not pretend to supernatural 
gifts, and who had not made themselves violently obuoxious to 
great political powers, were put to death tar moco cruelly. I( 
the very doubtfid death of Joan of Arc in a very Cstholio age 
ia a proof of Britidh barbarism, what do the witch burnings uf 
the Protestants in the aeventeenth century indicate aa cegarda 
German humanity 1 

It mat be remarked that in the cuncludiDg paragraph Heine 
temarta that Shakeapeara could not have worked over or re- 
touched {bcarbeilei) thia piny on Henry TI. becauae they bear 
'in many parte" the Vollgeprdg^ or perfect stamp of his 

I^nins. It might be asked to what purpose he reworked or 
finished op the dramas, if it was not to give them such a 
stamp or effect 1 The whole article indicates that it was 
intended to flatter the Germans through Schiller, and eapeci- 
•Ity to gratify the French by abuse of Knglr.ud. 



3)0 SHAKESPEARSS UAIDBSS AUD WOtt 

has encLaiaei] Iilm. lie qaite remiDtla n 
recruit who cried from tlie gnard-post 1 
captain that he liad made a captive. *' Bring him 
here then to me ! " answered his chief. *"• I canV 
was the reply, "for he won't let me."' 
Sunblk apeake:— 

" Be not olTuiiiieil, nit!nrc'» miracle, 
Tiioa art allotted ti> lie tft'cn by tiie : 
So ilotli tlko swnn ber (towny cygnets tave, 
Keepiu}! tliem priBonen underuralli bcr « 
Yet, if UiJB (crvite u&age once olTt-nd, 
Oo md be free a^min as SuITolk'B frieoil. 

[Slit tanu avay at gvlnf. 
elay 1—1 hnve no power lo let her pass ; 
My biuid wouM free her, bnt niy licnrt uiys no. 
As [ikya liie tan upim the glouy itrcuins, 
Twiiikliut; aiioilicr cuunterfeilcd beam. 
So ieeins ihU gor^.'nus beauty to mine eyoa. 
Fain would 1 woo iiiT, yet I d^re not apealc : 
I'll call far pen and ink, and write my tniod i 
He, tic U Poole ! disaUe not ibyself ; 
Ra-t not a tongiie 1 is slie not Unre iby prisonerl 
Wilt thon be daunted at a woman's fligbt) 
Ay ; beauty's princely majesty is such, 
Cotiruimds Lbe tongue, and ninkes tlie senses rough. 
Mar. S.iy, Eai 1 of Suffolk, — if ihy name be w), — 
What ranfloiu muat I pay before I pass I 
For, I i>ercuive, I am tliy I'risojier. 

' A> uauallf told, the suldier cried that he bad caaght a 
T.irlar. "Bring him in then." " He winna let ma ^ 1 " Thia 
IB Llje usually accredited (eniB uf (lie laying, " He hai caught t 
Tartar. ' ' — Tra nalaior. 



MARGARET. 331 

Svf, How canst thou tell, she will deny thy suit, 
Before thou make a trial of her love ? [Aside, 

Mar. Why speak'st thou not ? what ransom must I pay? 

S'tf, She's beautiful ; and therefore to be wooM : 
She is a woman ; therefore to be won."i 

He at last finds it best to keep the prisoner, 
and, wedding her to his king, become at once 
her public subject and her private lover. 

Has this connection of Margaret with SuflTolk 
any historical basis ? I. do not know. But 
Shakespeare's eye of divination often sees things 
of which chronicles say nothing, yet are none the 
less true. He knows even those fleeting dreams 
of bygone days which Clio forgot to write. There 
lie perhaps upon the stage of events all kinds 
of varied images or forms, which do not flit as 
common shadows with the real shapes, but come 
like ghostly things upon the ground, unnoted by 
the busy world of men who, naught surmising, 
carry on their work. Yet they are often visible 
enough, as clear in colour as distinct in form 
unto the eyes of seers born on Sunday whom we 
call poets ! 

* First Part of King Henry VI., act ▼. ac. 3. 



iU SHAKBSPBARES MAIDENS AND WOUStt. 

QUEEN MARGARET. ^ 

[second and third parts or kino henry vt.] 

In this likeness we see the aaiae Margaret aa 
queen, nud ns wife of the sixth Ileniy, The bud 
bw bloasomed ; she is now a full-blown rose, 
but a repulsive worm lies hid therein. She has 
become a hard - hearted, evil - minded woman. 
Horrible beyond all comparison, be it in the 
world of reality or poetry, is the scene where 
she Riv6H to the weeping York the ghastly hand- 
kerchief dipped in the blood of his son, and 
jraring bids him dry his tears on it. The words 
are dreadful : — 

" hook, York ; I stain'd this napkin with tlie Llood 
That vnlianl Clifford with hi» mpier'a point 
UadB iuue from the bosom of llie boy : 
And, if thine eyea con water for his death, 
I give thee this to ilrv \hj cherka withal. 
Alas, poor York 1 hut that I hnio thee deadly, 
1 should Inmuiit thy niiaemble state. 
I pi^ythee, grieve to make me merry, York ; 
Siamp, rave, and fret, that I may sing ami dance."* 

Had the artist who designed the beautiful Mar- 
garet for this gallery represented her with more 
» Third PaH c^f King Urnry 17., act i. ae. 3, 




QUEEN MARGARET. 

widely opened lips, we migbt have seen ttat bIiq 
has teetli liko a beasb of prey.^ 

In the nest dritma, or in EWtard III,, aha 
appears aa personally repulsive, for the sharp 
teeth have been broken, she can no longer bite, 
but only ban, and so as a ghostly old woman 
wanders through the royal chambers, and the 
toothless old mouth murmurs words of evil omen 
and execrations. 

Yet through her love for Suffolk — "the wild 
Suffolk" — Shakespeare awakes in us some spark 
of sympathy .even for this un-woman. Sinful or 
shameful as this love may be, we cannot deny it 
truth nor earnestness. How rapturously beauti- 
ful are the two lovers' parting words, and what 
tenderness in those of Margaret! — 

" Q. Mar. 0, let me entreat thee, oeaae I Give me tliy 

That I may Jew it with my mournful tears j 
Koi let the rain of heaven wet this place, 
To wash away my wofiil nionumeate, 
O, could liiia ki«a be printed in tliy band ; 

[Kisia hii hand. 
That ihou mighl'st ihiuk upon these bj the seal, 
Through whom a thousand aiglis are breathed for thee 1 
So, get thee gone, that I may know my grief; 
'Tie but surmised whilst thou art ataiKling by, 
Aa one that surfeits thiukioi; on a want. 



■wolf of France, but worse tLan wolves of FtttQCB." 
—Third Part of King Henri/ VL, act L sc ^ 




JJ4 SHAKESPEARE'S UAIDENS AND WOUE^W. 

I will repeul itiee, or, be well nnurcd, 
Advenliire tu be liaiiiilied tnyiiclf : 
And laniched I nm, if but from llice. 
Go, ipeak not to mc ; even now be gone. — 
O, go not jet 1— Even tlius two ftienJs, condemn'J, 
Embrace, and Itiu, and take ten ibotuund leaves, 
Iioutlier a licndred times to part tliaii die. 
Yet now fweu ell ; nnd farewell life with thee I 
Sv/. TliUB is pour Suffolk ten times banished, 
Once bj the kin^, and tbree timea tliricc by ibee. 
'Til not tbu land I care for, wert thou kence : 
A wildcmesa ia populous enough, 
80 Suffolk bad thy heavenly companf : 
For where ibou art, there is the world itself^ 
With every Bcveral plc:isure in the world : 
And where thou art not, desolation, 
I can no more : — Live ihou to joy thy life [ 
Myself no juy in nought, but ihut thou llv'it." > 

And later, when Margaret, bearing the bloody 
head of lier beloved in her band, wails forth tbe 
wildest despair, she reminds ns of the terrible 
Cbrimhilda of the " Nibelun gen lied." What iron- 
mailed agonies whence all words of comfort 
glance Qslde in vain! 

I have already shown in the introdaction that 
I intended as regarded the English historical 
dramas of Shakespeare to refrain from historical 
and philosophical reflections. The theme of those 
dramas will never be fully discussed, bo long as 
the strife of the modern requirements of indns- 
■ Sctond Pari of Eiivj Umry 17., act iiL sc 2. 




QUEEN MARGARET. 335 

I'lHal deTelopment with that of medifDval feudaliBm 
in all its various surviving forms continues. It is 
not so easy here as in the Koman dramas to express 
a decided opinion, and every bold free utterance 
might meet with a dubious or displeased reception. 
But I cannot here refrain from one remark. 

It k nnintelligible to me how certain German 
commentators take side with the English party, 
and that very decidedly, when they speak of 
those French wars which are depicted in the 
dramas of Shakespeare. For, in truth, in those 
wars the English had with them neither justice 
nor poetry. For they partly concealed the coarsest 
spirit of robbery under worthless claims of suc- 
cession, and in part made war as mean mercenaries 
in the vulgar interests of more merchants or shop- 
men — just as they do to-day in these our times, 
only that in the nineteenth century they deal 
more in coffee and sugar, whereas in the fourteenth 

I and fifteenth it was in sheep's wool,' 

Michelet, in that genial work, his "History o£ 

I France," remarks very truly: — 

" The secret of the battles of Cressy, Poitiers, 
&c., is to be sought in the counting-houses of the 
merchants of London, of Bordeaux and Bruges. 

I, . . Wool and meat founded the original Eng- 
wool 
liters 



n 



m say \a tbe Amerisan Btock-mai 
ns. The nllualon amy be taken b 
'b eye!!, b> blind & victim tu its futi 
I'literal trado in wool.— rmjisruioi-. 



S|t SttAKESrSAKS-S UAIDBNS AND WOMEN. 

ba^ ukI th* English race. Ilefnre Englajid 

bKwiw ft grmt woollen-mill And iron factory for 

I Um «bot« world, It wu a meet factory. From the 

wrliwt tiowe this nee bosied ilseU with caU1&- 

I nUnny uti aovri^ed itae\( nith tucat. Uence 

r tlM frtitimi of oonplexion of this (snub-nosed and 

r Wa)t-oKti»»-liMid-lMs) beeuty. May 1 bere be per> 

mitlod to tttfutioa ft persou&l experience 

*"! bad wen Loudon Mid a great part of 
XnglMkd Kttd SootlMid; I had stared witL amaze- 
>Bt at nmrtt tban I had nnderGtood, And it 
a on my return journey, aa I went from York 
I Id Mancbesler, cutting across tho bn-ndth of the 
fidand, t])at 1 first Wj^n to form a true idea of 
rSngland. It wai a damp, fo^y morning, when 
[ tke country Gc«mcd not to be merely sarrounded 
I \M iuundated by the ocean. A }m1e Enn hardly 
up half the Inndgcttjie. The new tile-red 
I Itousea would have contrast«l harshly with the 
^■kp-green banks if Uiese ecreaming coloura had 
Jnot been lubdued by the fleeting sea-iuiats, Fat 
V&nn meadows, cowred with sLoep, over-topped 
' ly the flaRiiug chimneys of fnttories. Cattle- 
raising, tigricnlture, industry, all were crowded 
together in this lilllo space, one over the other, 
one feeding tho other — the gross fed by the fog, 
the aheep by the grass, and man by blood. 

"Man in this devouring climute, where ha ia 
Always tormented by hunger, can only sustain life 



QUEEN MARGARET. 



33J 



ty hard work. Nature compels tim to it. But 
he knows how to revenge bimself on her; ha 
compels her to work, and subdues !ier with iron 
Bud lire. All England pants with this strife. 
Man there seenis to be enraged, and as if beside 
himself! Sec yon red face, that wildly gleaming 
eye! One migUb suppose that he was drunk. 
But his head and hand are firm and sure. He 
is only intoxicated witli blood and sti'engtli. Ha 
manages himself like a steam-machine, which he 
crams to excess with fuel, to get from it as much 
work and speed as is possible. 

"During the middle ages the Englishman was 
■much the eame as he now is, far too well fed, driven 
to trade, and warlike when industrial pursuits 
were wanting. 

- "EngUmd, though vigorously pursuing agri- 
culture and cattle-raising, did not tlien uinnnfac- 
ture. The English produced the raw material, 
•other people turned it to profit. Wool was on 
one side o£ the Channel and workmen on the 
other. But while princes quarrelled and fought, 
the English cattle-dealer and tho Flemish cloth- 
fuctors lived in the best accord, and in an undis- 
turbed alliance. The French, wiio wished to break 
I this bond of union, atoned for the beginning of 
it with a hundred years of war.' The English 
man. 



jjS SttAKESPEARES UAIDEKS AND WOUE^i. 

kings trislicd to conquer France, but tbe people 
wnnUrd only freedom of trade, free porta, free 
inarlcets for Kofi^tisli wool. Gathered round a 
pre&t wool-sack, tlie commons consulted over the 
king's demands, nnd nilliugly granted him snb- 
Bidin nud armies. 

"Such a mixture of industry and chintliy im- 
pikrU ft Btmnjje and wonderful aspect to all the 
history of the time. Tbat Edward who swore on 
the Itound Table a proud oatli to conquer France, 
those solemn and silly knights who in pursuance 
of their vowa covered one eye with red cloth, 
were not, however, such fools as to go to war at 
tlieir own expense. Tlie pious innocence of the 
Crnaadcrs was no longer in keeping with the age. 
These knifjhls were in reality mercenaries, paid 
iiiercantilc agents, and armed and armoured com- 
iQprcinl travellers for the merchants of London 
and Ghent. Edwai'd himself was obliged to give 
pledges, to lay aside all pride, to Hatter the 
clolhier and weaver goilds, to hold out his hand 
to his gossip the beer brewer Artevelde, and monnt 
1 he desk ofa cittle-dealer to address the mnltitada 

"Thti Englisli tragedies of the fourteenth cen- 
tury have very comical sides. There is always 
something of Falstaff in their noblest knights. 
In France, in Italy, in Spain, in the fair lands 
of the South, they alwoj'a show themselves oa 
rapflcions and gluttonous as they are brave, It is 



I 



k 



QUBElf UARGARET. 

Hercules, the devourer of oxen. They came to ' 
devour the land, in the literal seuse of the word. 
But the laud retaliates and conquers them with 
frait and wine. Their princes and armiea surfeit 
themselves with food and drink, and die of indi- 
gestion and dysentery." 

Compare with these hired and gluttonous heroes 
the French, that raost temperate race, which was ' 
less intoxicated with it3 wine than by innate en- 
thusiasm. This, indeed, was the cause of their 
misfortune, and so we can see how it happened that | 
even in the middle of the foarteenth century they, 
by the very excess of chivalry, succumbed to the I 
English foe. It was at Cressy where the French 
appear more glorious in their defeat than do the | 
English by their victory, which they in unknightly 
fashion gained by employing infantry. Hitherto i 
war had been only a great tournament of knights 
of equal birth ; at Cressy this romantic cavalry, 
this poetry, was disgracefully shot down by modern 
infantry, by prose in strongest disciplined order of 
battle — yes, even cannon here appear. The grey- 
bearded King of Bohemia, who, blind and old, was 
in this battle aa a vassal of France, marked well 
that a new era had begun, that all was at an end 
with chivalry, that in future the man on horseback 
would be beaten by the man on foot, and so said 
to hia knights: 'I beg you most earnestly, carry 
me so far iuto the fight, that I may once mora 



%» SHAKESfE.lRE'S ilAWEKS A.\D WOitEN. 

tirike one good Wow with my sword ! ' They 
ofapyol him, bound tb«ir horses to his, rushed 
wilh him httdkn^ into the wildest of the fmy, 
>oi] thft o»xt tnorning nil vere found dead on 
(licir dmiid honM, nil still bound together. And 
as this King of Bohe^ni^ perished with his knights, 
BO the FiTi)^ fell at Cressy ; they died — but on 
bon^back. England woo the ^-ictory, France the 
fuiMi. Yes, ewn in their defeat, the French cast 
their oonqncrors into the fihade. The triumphs 
of the English are erer a shame to humanity, 
ftom the days of Cressy and Poitiers to that of 
Waterloa Clio is always a woman in epite of her 
{mpartial coolness, she is sensitive to knighthood 
nod heroism, and I am convinced that it is with 
(gashing teeth that she inscribe in her tablets 
the victories of Englntid.* 

' Ot Uii* duptrT il uiajr In old MnphiticaU;, •■ fipe writing 
but liiolUh." Fur tlwrv cau bv nu grekter tuU; than to rake into 
Uw mnote \<Bat for reuuiu to ndicote Uie present canilitiauB of 
•udrty, ulik.li km ii»w sotinlj c1iuij;b1. And wLen we con- 
■ulrr tluil ail thii cialUliua of t""^ ariatoency iiul chivalry 
over liu« luedumiuli uid mere munaf -mokiag mercluiBta coiuei 
fraiB Hmnr, arhu elxwbere modolly mjucita the world to Uy 
* award on liU graie bvcuiae be hikJ be«a BUCli a brave Boldier 
[ii the v&r agiiiiit ariitocricy and aDcient wrungi in the CKuu 
of the p<s>plf, thi* abuse of tlie Engllih f<ir nut being knightly 
ia dirplj comic. But when ue RiiJ hiiu wailing ova tbe firat 
grrAt laauifeetaUuU of the power of the peaplu iu the tnlploy- 
mmt of iiifnntry at Creesy, and speaidiig with blue- blooded 
bitter scorn of vulgar foot sold ien and cannan, the inconsistency 
liaes to biuad alKUniity. Our author averts tliiit in tliii battle 
the victury tiM with the Eiigli^b aud iu glury to the Freucfa [ 



LADY OREY. 341 



LADY GREY. 
[third part of king henry VI.] 

Bhe was a poor widow who came trembling before 
King Edward, and begged him to restore to her 
children the small estate which, after the death 
of her husband, had reverted to the enemy. The 
licentious king, who could not stir her chastity, 
was so enchanted by her beauty, that he placed 
the crown on her head. Her history, known to 
all the world, announces how much misery to 
both came from this match. 

Did Shakespeare really describe the character 
of this king with strict regard to history ? Here 
I must repeat the remark that he perfectly under- 
stood how to fill historical gaps. His royal char- 
acters are all drawn with such truth, that, as an 
English writer remarked, we might often suppose 
that he had been all his life the Chancellor of the 
monarch whom he makes act in many dramas. 
My own memories of the striking similarity be- 
but in truth it was a double victory and glory to the former; one 
over the enemy, and another and far more glorious over the old 
order of things, in which all renown was for the few and none 
fur the many. It was absolutely this battle which has since 
made England victorious in a thousand fields, and it was the 
rise of the "wool-growers and merchants," or of the middle 
class, which sustained and supported the national military spirit. 



J4l SHAKESPEARBS MAIDENS ASD WOMEN. 

tnr«fn his ancicnl kings, and certain kings of Llie 
pRoent duv, irbom ns conteinpomries we con best 
juUft^, w« tosU of bis truth to life, 

WliAt Friod^rich ScUlegel Bays of the writer 
xit history holds good of our poet. He la a 
pniphrt looking into tho post. Were ib per- 
niissitilt> to hold the mirror up to one of the 
grMt(«t of our erowDed con temporaries, every 
one would peroeiv« that Sliakespeare mode oat 
liis publio noUtlcation ' two huiidreil yeai-s ngo. 
In fact, wh*n wo contemplate this great, admir- 
•hlei Aitd certainly also glorious monarch, n 
c«rtaiu strange thrill comes over us, such as wa 
might (ixjMoricnco ^Itould we iu brood daylight 
niw>t « fv^rm which we hati before seen only in 
nightly dr«Aniak When wo saw him eight years 
■go, riding through the streets bare-heoded, 
bnmbly gr««tiug nil on every side, we thought 
continually of tlio jjassage iu which York describea 
BuUngbivke's eulry to London. His cousin, the 
later Kichnrd IL.kiiewhim well,studied him closely, 
and expressed himself once very accurately: — 

"Ourwir, whI Uiwhy, BaffJt liere, ami Gieen, 
Ul««rvei] hU coui'tslti|i 10 t!ie common peoiilo :— 
ll«w ho did iMiu lo divB inlo their hcai is, 
With liumUo uiJ funiilinr courtesy ; 
Wlint reverence lio ditl tliruw Awuy on Bla\'cs ; 



I StKiAtkf, w> 
air^r, inclading t. 



tst, the public notice ot s 



LADY GREY. 343 

"Wooing poor craftemen, with tlie craft of smiles, 

And patient underbearing of his fortune, 

As 'twere, to banish their effects with him. 

Off goes his bonnet to an oyster-wench ; 

A brace of draymen bid — God spjeed him well, 

And had the tribute of his supple knee, 

With — ThankSy my countrymen, my loving frieiids ; — 

As were our England in reversion his, 

And he our subjects' next degree in hope.*'^ 

Yes, the likeness is startling. The present 
Bolingbroke develops himself before our eyes 
accurately like the one of yore who, after the 
fall of his royal cousin, mounted the throne, and 
little by little made firm his seat — a clever, crafty 
hero, a creeping giant, a Titan of dissimulation, 
terribly, yes, tremendously calm, the claws in a 
velvet glove, and while caressing with it and cajol- 
ing public opinion, watching his prey far in the 
distance, and never leaping on it till it is near. 
May he ever conquer his blustering enemies, and 
keep peace in his kingdom until the hour of his 
death, when he may address his son in the words 
which Shakespeare long ago wrote for him : — 

" Come hither, Harry, sit thou by my bed ; 
And hear, I think, the very latest counsel, 
That ever I shall breathe. Heaven knows, my son, 
By what by-paths, and indirect crook'd ways, 
I met tl^is crown : and I myself know well, 
How troublesome it sat upon my head : 

^ King Richa/rd 11.^ act i. so. 4. 



344 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

To tliee it sliall tleoceuil trith better quiet. 

Better opinion, better Gonfinnation ; 

For all the ftoil of the acbierement goea 

With lue into the eorth. It seem'd in me, 

l>ut as an honour snatcbM with boiateroua band ; 

And I hail many livin*:^ to upbraid 

Mj gain of it by their assiataiices ; 

Which daily grew to quarrel, and to bloodshed. 

Wounding supposed peace : all these bold fears, 

Thou >oc>t, with peiil I have answered : 

For all my reign hath been but as a scene 

Aciin,: that argument ; and now mj death 

Cliangcs the mo*le ; for what in me was purchased, 

F«ilU uiK)n thee in a more fairer sort ; 

So ihou the garland wear*8t successively. 

Yet, though thou stand'st more sure than I could do, 

Thou art not iirm enough, since griefs are green ; 

Aiul all my frioniU, which thou must make thy friends. 

Have hut thi'ir stings and teeth newly ta*en out ; 

lU- whose foil working,' I was first advanccil, 

Aiul hy who?*' power I well might lodge a fear 

To ho again disphiced : which to avoid, 

1 cm iheiu olf; ai:d had a jmrpose now 

To lead out nianv to the IIolv Land ; 

liCst rest, and Iving still, might make them look 

T«»o luar unto my state. Therefore, my Harry, 

]>e it thy course, to busy giddy minds 

"With foreign quarn Is ; that action, hence borne out, 

May waste the memory of the former days. 

More would T, hut my lungs are wasted so, 

That strength of speech is utterly denied me. 

How I came by the crown, God, forgive 1 

And grant it may with thee in true peace live 1"^ 

^ First Part of King Ucnry IV., act iv. 6C, 4. 



LADY ANNE. . 345 



LADY ANNE,. 

[king RICHARD III.] 

The favour of fair women, like fortune, is a free 
gift — we receive it without knowing how or why. 
But there are men who know how to force it with 
iron will from fate, and these attain their aim 
either by flattery or inspiring terror in women, 
by awaking their sympathy, or by artfully giving 
them opportunities to sacrifice themselves. This 
last — that is, self-sacrifice — is the favourite part 
of women in the play of love, for it sets them ofiF 
so well before the world, and assures them so 
many raptures of tears and woe when alone. 

Lady Anne is impelled by all these forces at 
once. Words of flattery flow like virgin honey 
from his terrible lips. Eichard flatters her — that 
same Richard who inspires her with all the horror^ 
of hell — he who has murdered her loved husband, 
and the paternal friend whose corpse she is accom- 
panying to the grave. He commands the pall- 
bearers with imperious voice to set down the cofiin, 
and at this moment begins to woo the beautiful 
sufferer. The lamb sees with dread the gnashing 
teeth of the wolf — but the terror at once tunes his 
voice to the sweetest sounds of flattery, and this 
flattery from a wolf works so prevailingly, so liko 



J46 SHAKESPEARE'S UAIDENS AND WOMBS. 

intoxicalioD on the poor lamb's soul, that every 
feeling in it is reversed. 

And Kioff Ricbard speaks of his snfTerings, 
of his grief, ho that Anne cnnnot withhold her 
pity, £ill the more because this wild beiug is far 
from being of a plaintive nature. . . . And this 
wretched murderer baa qualms of conscience — ■ 
speaks of repentance — a good woman might per- 
haps lead him to the better path if she wonld 
sacrifice herself for him! And so Anne deter- 
mines to be Queen of England, 



QUEEN KATHARINE. 

[kino HENRV Vlll.] 

I cnERisn an insuperable prrjiulfce against this 
queen, to whoni I must, however, ascribe every 
virtue. Aa a wife Ehe was a pattern of domestic 
fidelity. As qneeu she bore her part with the 
highest dignity and majesty. Aa a Christian she 
was piety itself. But Doctor Samuel Johnson 
was inspired by her to the most extravagantly 
soaring laudation. She is, among all Shake- 
speare's women, hia choicest darling; he speaks 
of her with tenderness aud emotion , . and that 



i 



QUEEtJ KATHARINE. 347 

13 intolerable. Slaakespeare lias employed all 
the might of hia geaiaa to glorify her, bub all 
this is in vain when we see that Doctor John- 
son, that great pot of porter, falla into aweet 
rapture at her sight and foams with eulogy. 
If she had been ray wife snch praise would 
have induced me to get a divorce, Perhaps it 
was not the charms of Anna Bnllen which tore 
the poor fcing from her, but the enthusiasm with 
which some Doctor Johnson of the time spoke 
of the faithful, dignified, and pioua Katharine, 
Did Thomas More, perhaps, who, with all bis 
surpassing excellence was rather pedantic, hide- 
bound, and indigestible — even as Doctor Johnson 
was — exalt the queen too much towards heaven ? 
The brave Chancellor, however, paid rather too 
deai-]y for hia enthusiasm ; the king exalted him 
for it to heaven itself. 

I do not really know at which I am most 
amazed — that Katharine endured her husband 
for fifteen years, or that be so long put np with 
her? The king was not only very full of whims, 
irritable, and in constant contradiction with all 
his wife's inclinations — that is common enough 
in marriages, which, liowever, endure in admir- 
able fashion till death makes an end of all — 
but the king was also a musician and theologian, 
and both to perfect wretchedness ! I heard not 
long ago, as a delightful curiosity, a choral com- 



148 SHAKESPEARE'S ItAIDEXS AND WOUE!f. 

posed by him, nliicb was quite as bad as his 
treatise, De Scptem SacraTnerUis. He certainly did 
bore his poor wife terribly with his mosical com- 
positions and tbeolo^icnl nuthorsbip. The best in 
Henry was his feeling for plastic art, and it may 
be that his worst sympathies and antipathies 
were due to his predilection for the beantifal, 
Katharine of Arn^n was still attractive in her 
twenty- fourth vear when Henry at eighteen 
married her. though she was the widow of his 
brother. But her beauty in all probability did 
not increase with years, nil the more since she, 
from pious motives, chastised the flesh with flagella- 
tion, fasting, vigils, and afflictions sore. Her hus- 
band bewailed bitterly these ascetic practices, and 
truly they would have been a source of despera- 
tion to any of us. 

And there is something else which strengthens 
my prejudice against this queen. She was the 
daughter of Isabella of Castile, and the mother 
of Bloody Mary. Wliat could come from a trse 
which grew from such sinful seed, and which bore 
Buch evil frnit? 

And though we find in history no evidences of 
her cruelty, still the wild pride of her race breaks 
out on every opportunity where slio wiU vindicate 
her rank or press its claims. In spite of her 
long- practised Christian humility, she bursts into 
almost heathen wrath when any one offends the 



Q UHEN KA THARIKE. 34^ 

etiquette due to lier, or refuses her tlie queenly 
title. Even to ileath Blie retains this unquench- 
able pride, and Shakespeare himself gives these aa I 
[ her last words — 

"Eiiibalm me, 
Tlii'n lay me fortli : altliough unqueen'd, ytt like 
A queen, niiil lUiuyLter to a king, inter me. 



1 This paper anggesta the reflection thai to Ueioa 

■ every woman who disregarded the seventh command- 

I ment ivas an angel, and every ona who kept it a devit. 

J finds something divine, adorj,ljIe, or attractive in 

Tamora, Cressida, and Cleopatra, even in Margaret, hut 

Queen Katharine ia to him altogethpr repulsive. And 

nil her great and noble qualities are to him absolutely 

UothiHg — because Doctor Samuel Johnson admired her I 

All the power of Shukcspcare's genius, he declares, 

failed to exalt her, became " this great pot of porter " 

, praised her. Call you tliia criticism 1 It ia not Bvea 

I Bxcellent fooling, it ia the fade frolicking of a freah- 

n trying to seem wicked, while the suggestions that 

I Henry bored his wife with his accomplishments, aud 

I bIib him wilh her virtues, are wretchedly forced fun 

iud whicli "has not even novelty for merit." 

I This misapplied trifling is carried out to the very 

end, for the last words of Queen Katharine, as givec 

I in full in the original text, are inspired with anything 

L but the heathen wrath and evil pride which Heine 



350 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

directly declares are to bo found in them. Tliey an 
08 follows : — 

" I thank yon, honest lord. Remember me 
In all hnmility unto hb highness : 
Say, bis long trouble now is passing 
Out of this world : tell him, in death I blesi'd bim. 
For so I will. — Mine eyes grow dim. — Farewell, 
My lord.— Griffith, farewell— Nay, Patience, 
You must not leave me yet I must to bed ; 
Call in more women. — When I am dead, good wench. 
Let me be used with honour ; strew me over 
With maiden flowers, that all the world may know 
I was a chaste wife to my grave : embalm me. 
Then lay me forth : although unqueen'd, yet like 
A queen, and daughter to a king, inter me. 
I can no more." * 

Truly a singular specimen of heathen wrath and 
unquenchable pride ! Even the garbling or misrepre- 
sentation is very bunglingly done, for the Queen 
declares that she has no longer the title, but simply 
wishes to he buried as becomes one of her royal birth 
— only this and nothing more — not as a queen, but 
like one. The heathen wrath is here all on the side of 
Heine. He was a great genius and a learned scholar, 
but he had his limits, and a character like that of 
Katharine was as much out of his range of compre- 
hension as his would have been to her. — Translator. 

* King llenry VIII,, act iv. sc. 2. 



Anne sullen. 



ANNE SULLEN. 

[king HENRV Vlll.] 

It is geEeroUy believed that King Henry's gnaw- 
inga of conscience for liis marriage witli Katliarine 
were due to the cbarma of tlie beantiful Anne. 
Even Shakespeare betrays this opinion, and when 
the new queen appears in the coronation pro- 
cession he puts these words into the mouth of a 
young nobleman : — 

"Htavfiillcsstliee! 
Thou ha3t the ewuetcsl face I evtr look'd on.— 
Sir, aa I have a soul, she is a.n angel • 
Our king h^ all ihe Indies in his aijns, 
And more, and richer, whiiM lie straiLis tliat lady ; 
I Ciiunot blaiEB " 



The poet also gives us an idea of the beauty of 
Anne BuUen in the nest scene, where he depicts 
the enthusiasm which her appearance at the 
coronation prodaced. 

How deeply Sliakespeare was devoted to his 
sovereign, the stately Elizabeth, shows itself 
perhaps most beautifiilly in the precision of 
detail with which he represents the coronation 
of her mother. All of these details gave colour 



' King JImrs VI IL, art iv. so. 

pM'a^ extremely like tljla occur 

" '.I Icelandic akalds. Vidt no 

let in the Cormina Bitrana. 



. It is remarknbts tbat » 
in a. poem bj one of tha 
■a to Tbucstena Saga. AUo 



« sii\t^:£>rr.4iurs maidess asd woxiEN. 



Mxtui sctactioa to tht^ n>y»l rights of the daaghterj 
mavi th^ ^xvt well knew how to make the con- 
tested Ifegicioiacy of his qaeen clear to the entire 
pucuc And this queen deserved such zealous 
attachoreat. Shi» thonght it no sacrifice of 
vj^tealr dTgcitr when she authorised the poet 
to pre^nt oa the stag« with absolute impartiality 
all her artcestors and eren her own father. And 
it was tK>t onlr as a qneen but as a woman that 
ihi» pcv^vvd she would nerer encroach on the 
rights of p^vtry^ and as she had granted our 
jvet the greatest Uterty of speech in political 
luattiMr^i so she permitted him the boldest ex- 
pre^ssioa as to the relations of the sexes. She 
was rot sluvktxl at the most reckless jests of a 
bovfcltby ^eiv^iiUiwIicy, and she> '*the maiden qneen," 
t^o rv\YAv virgiu. even requested that Sir John 
F;\*:>:A:f $l.vu\i show himself as a lover. To 
her $:vi'irg iiovi ^ we owe the Merrf/ Wives of 

Shako*: vare vvulvl not have brought his English 
hi^iitoriaU vinuiuxiii to a Wttor conclusion than by 
liaviitg the uow-lvru intant> Elizabeth, carried 
over the stage— t lie glorious future of England in 
bvv uvUiang^''lv>t hes^ 

I'ut did Shakos{vare really depict to the life 
lloury VllL, the lather of his queen? Yes, 

^ H'mj^, a siirw of iutellJgx^nce, HikI, hint, or wink. lo 
Gcniuu a nv>d b truly **jk$ ^kkI a« a wink.** — Translator, 



I 

I 
I 



ANSB BULLEN. 

for though be diil not Bet forth the truth ho 
Tigoroualy, or in sach harsh utterances aa in hU 
other draraas, he diet at least present it fairly and 
honestly, and the Bubdned tone only makes the 
shadowa more impressive. This Henry VIII. 
TT08 the worst of all kings, for while other evil 
princes only raged against their foes, ha was 
fnrious at his friends, and his love was even more 
dangerous than his hatved. The matrimonial 
history of this royal Bluebeard is horribla And 
with all its horrors he mingled a certain imbeciie 
Bud cruel gallantry. When he ordered the execn- 
tion of Anne Bullen he sent her word that he had 
provided for it the best headsman in all England. 
The Queen thanked him obsequiously for such 
a delicate attention, and in her trifling, merry 
manner, spanned her throat with both hands and 
said, "It will be easy to behead me, for I have 
but a little neck ! " 

Nor is the axe with which she was decapitated 
a very large one. It was shown me in the 
armoury of the Tower, and as I held it in my 
hands a strange thought struck me. 

"If I were Queen of England, I would have 
fehat axB sunk in the depths of the sea." 




3H SMAKSSPEARE-S UAtDBNS AND WOMBti. 



LADY MACBETH. 

[UACBETII.} 

I TlUN from the aathentic historical drama to 
!ho» tragt^iea whose plots are either purely 
innrntod or else druivn from old legends and 
rotnnnccs. Macbeth forma a transition to such 
poems, in which the genius of the great Shake- 
speare spreads its wings moat freely and boldly. 
The substance of it is takeii from an old legend, 
it doi'S unt belong to history, and yet the drama 
makes some demand on historical faith, because 
Ihf ancestor of the roya! Iiouse of England played ■ 
a part in it. For Machclh was first played befors 
James I., who, as is well known, descended from 
the Scottish I'anqiio, In this relation the poet 
has interwoven several prophecies in honour of' 
the reigning dynasty. 

Macbeth is a favourite subject with critics, who 
hpro Gnil opportunity enough to set forth ia 
widest opposition their ^newa as to the antique 
fatalistic tragedies iu comparison with concep- 
tion of fate by modern tragedians. On this sub- 
ject I will make merely a fleeting remark. 

Shakespeare's idea of destiny differs from that 
of the ancients, just as the prophetic sorceresses 
who in the Norse legend meet Macbeth promia* 



LADY MACBETH. 355 

ing sovereignty, iliffer from Liie witch -sisterhood 
which appears in Shakespeare's tragedy. Those 
wondrous women in the Northern tale are plainly 
Valkyries, terrible divinities of the air, who, 
sweeping over battle-fields, determine victory or 
defeat, and who are to be regarded as the true 
directresses of human destiny, the last, in the 
warlike North, being dependent on the issue of 
battle. Shakespeare changed these into mischief- 
making witches, stripped them of all the terrible 
grace and chariu of Northern euchantment, made 
of them hybrid half-women who practise tremen- 
dous ghostly delusions, and brew destruction from 
malicious mischief or at the bidding of bell. They 
are servants of the evil one, and he who is be- 
fooled by their sayings goes body and soul to 
destruction, Shakespeare has therefore trans- 
lated the old heathenish deities of fate and their 
dignified magic blessing into Christian, and the 
ruin of his hero is therefore not a predetermined 
necessity, or something absolutely and Bternly 
nnavoidable, as in the ancient fate, but the result 
of those allurements of hell which cast their nets 
around the human heart Macbeth succumbs to 
Satan, the prime evil,' 

It is interesting to compare the witches of 
Shakespeare with those of other English poets. 
We observe that Shakespeare after oil could not 
' Dem UrbUaen. 




3i6 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

froe iiiDiEclf from the old liontbBii view, and hia 
mngic Biaters nre far more strikingly grand and 
respectable tlian ttiose of Middleton, who sUon 
(nr luoro a niPaoly malicious, beggarly nature, 
wlio practise smaller and more spiteful tricks, 
wbo vex the body but have far less power over 
I he soul, and at their utmost can only crust our 
hearts over with envy, spite, lust, or wantonness, 
or similar skin eruptions on the heart. 

The notoriety of Lady Jlacheth, who for two 
centuries passed for a very bod character, about 
twelve years ago in Germany look a turn in her 
favour. The pious Franz Horn — milelicel — made 
the remark iu the "Convereations-Lexicon of 
Brockhaus" that the poor lady had been quite 
misunderstood, that she was devotedly attached 
to her hueband, and, above all, was really a re- 
markably amiable person. Herr Ludwig Tieck 
soon after supported this view with all his science, 
erudition, and philosophical depth, so that it was 
not long beCoro we saw Madame Stich on the 
royal court stage, cooing and tnrtle-doveing so 
feelingly, that every heart in Berlin was touched 
by such tones of tenclemess. and many a lovely 
eye was moved to tears at the sight of that dear 
fiweet Macbeth.' This happened, as I said, twelve 
years ago, in the soft times of the Restoration 
when we all bad so much love in our hearts. 



LADY MACBETH. 



md if ^ 



I there has been a great banUruptcy, 



1 do not ■ 



allot to many i 



Khe 



I 



iraonages the transcendent love which they de- 
serve, those people are to blame who, like the 
Queen of Scotland iu the period of the Keatora- 
tion, made utter booty of our hearts. 

Whether men atill defend in Germany the 
imiability of this lady, I do not know. Since 

le revolution of July many views of many things 

,ve greatly changed, and it may be that even 
in Berlin they have learned to perceive that that 
dear nice Lady Macbeth may be an awfolly horrid 
beast don'cher know.' 



the 



In this paper our aullior has a liltlo too authori- 
tatively, though very ingeniously, set forth a theory of 
Machetli, which will hardly bear examination. That 
tho weird sisters were derived from the Valkyries, is just 
issible. But at a very early time there were, in tlia 
orth, variations on these, down to witches of tho vulgar 
levilish sort, and all the acconnts which were current in 
Slnl;ea]«arQ'H time represent these of Macbeth as being 
of the latter kind, and as deliberately deceiving and 
leading him to deadly ruin That this was so under- 
stood in the sixteenth century is absolutely shown by 
iQ fact that Grosms, iii liis Magica seu mirahUium 
'istonarum de f^ectrts H lariin Frcesligiis et Imp(v 



tEN. 1 



JSB SHAKESPEARE'S UAIDENS AXD WOMEN. 

turii mahrtim Damonvm (1597), gives uader tlie 
heading o( " Ptopliecics of devils 01 evil spirtt«," tho 
foUoiring from CaidanuB* De Raiim Vaiielate, lib. 16, 
cai>. 93 ;— 



t {(.<-, Uiebelh) wu in fe&r, being nmed b; 
■Dothujen. And a propheten— j^EiJiea mvliet — foretold that 
he would nut be ilsio by k hand born oE woman, nor conquered 
till the wood at Bimen alionM oome to ths rartrexa of Donniin 
nMn, not (u- from wbcre be wu. Yet before he was conquered 
tbe wood of BirDen came thither, being out dawn and carried, ao 
that it lurruiinded the fortrca*. And he wua Snally aUin b/ 
Magdoffin, who WM not born but cut from h!« mother's belly." 

CanJanus took the etory from Hector Boclhiua, wlio 
uiuply statoa tlmt the prophecy was uttered by three 
vromeu with unusual faces — trei muliereg insotdu /aeiee. 
Boethius, who was S}iiikea[feare'3 authority, eviiieully 
regarded them as common n-itchos. The same Buclhiua 
(Lib. 3, Hint. Scotoram) tells us that DufTus, Xing of 
lUe Scots, hod tt mistress — cfjag rnaier venejtea erai — 
whoso mother was a imisoning or mnlicloua witch, that 
is, of the lowest and vilest type. There are a hundred 
etoriea in tho Korse sagas and chronicles which plainly 
show that Siiakespeare had much more reason to make 
Ilia prophetesses vulgar witches than Valkyries. And 
it is certainly absurd to accuse him of stripping from 
certain characters &Jv.reKtbaren Qrcade, or terrible grace, 
which he certainly did not finil in hU originals. 80 far 
from degrading tiieae ottginab, the poet actually elevated 
them, by bestowing lliat terrible grace, and relining 
them above tho witches of his uwu time, — Translator. 



1 



■ de< 



[hamlet.] 

[This is the poor Ophelia whom Hamlet the Dane 
loved. She was a beautiful blonde girl, and there 
was — especially in her speech — a magic which 
tonchedmyheart, mostof all when I would journey 
to Wittenberg, and went to her father to bid him 
farewell. The old lord was so kind aa to give uie 
on the way all the good counsels of which he 
himself made so Httle use, and at last called 
Ophelia to givo ua the parting cap. When tha 
dear girl modestly and gently approached me 
with the salver, and raised her gleaming eyes 
to Diine, in my distraction I grasped an empty 
instead of a full cup. She laughed at my mis- 
take. Her smile was so wondrous gleaming, and 
there sf.ole over her lips that intoxicating, melt- 
ing softness which doubtless came from the kiaa- 
fairies who lurked in the dimples of the mouth. 

When I returned from Wittenberg, and tha 
smile of Ophelia gleamed on me again, I forgot 
nil the crafty casuistry of the scholastica, and my 
deep researches were only on the charming ques- 
tion : "What does this smile set forth — what ia 
the inner meaning of that voice with its mysterious 
deeply yearuing flute-tones? Whence do those 



i 



36a SftAKESPEARE-S itAIDEtfS AND WOUl 

eyes Jerive tlieir blessed mya? la it a gleam of 
heavpn, or ia heaven but tbe reflect of those 
eyes? la that sweet smile in concord with tlie 
silent music of the spheres in their unending 
dance, or is it but the earthly signature' of the 
most Euper-sensual harmony ? " One day while 
we wandered in the castle garden of Helsingor, 
tenderly jesting and wooing, our hearts in the full 
l)IooaJ of hopeful love, — it will ever live in iny 
memory how beggarly the song of the nightingales 
contrasted witb the heavenly brenthing voice of 
Ophelia, and how flat and poor the flowers seemed 
witb their variegated faces withont smiles, when 
I by chance compared tbem witb her excelling- 
Bweet moutb. And the fair slender form like 
wandering grace swept around and near me — all 
as in a dream ! 

Ah ! that is the curse of weak mortals, that 
they ever, when a great mischance occurs, vent 
their ill temper on the best and dearest And so 
poor Hamlet, with his reason — that glorious jewel 
— flawed, cast himself by a feigned aberration of 
mind into the most terrible abyss of real madneBS, 
and tortured his poor love with Bcornful jeers. 
Poor child ! All that was wantinj^ was that the 
beloved should take her father for a rat and stab 

' S'lgnatuTa, mystical corresputidence of tbe thing created 
to its nroliieuH or nrchetjpai creatar— e.g., ^i^nnluni lter*K ut 
B wedeaborg. — Tra nilalBr. 



OPHELIA. 361 

him dead. Then she must of course go mad. 
But her madness is not so black and gloomily 
brooding as that of Hamlet, since it deludes, 
soothing with sweet songs her poor distracted 
head. Her soil voice melts away in music, and 
flowers, and still more flowers, entwine themselves 
in all her thoughts. She sings while plaiting 
wreaths to deck her brow, and smiles with gleam- 
ing smiles — alas, poor child ! 

Laer. Drown'd I 0, where ? 

Qtuen, There is a willow grows ascauiit the brook, 
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream ; 
Therewith fantastic garlands did she make 
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples, 
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name, 
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them : 
There on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds 
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke ; 
When down her weedy trophies, and herself. 
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide ; 
And, mermaid-like, a while they bore her up : 
AVhich time, she chanted snatches of old tunes ; 
As one incapable of her own distress. 
Or like a creature native and indued 
Unto that element : but long it could not be 
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink. 
Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay 
To muddy death." 1 

Yet why should I tell you this sad history ? 
You all knew it from your childhood, and have 

^ Hamlet, act iv. so. 7. 



361 SllAKESPEARES MAIDENS AND WOMElf. 

wupt often enough over tlie old tragedy of Uatslet 
the Dane, who loved tbe fair Ophelia far more 
than a tbouannd brolhcrs could, with all their 
united love, and who went mad because the ghost 
of his father appeared to him, and because the 
world waa out of its course and he felt himself too 
weak to set it straight, and because he in German 
Witteaberg had from too much thinking for- 
gotten pi-nctical business, and becaase he had the 
choice to go mad or do something desperate — and 
finally because he, as a mortal man, had above all 
things in himself a strong tendency to madness. 

We know Ilamlet as well as we do oor owu 
face, which we so often see in the mirror, and yet 
which is far less known to ns than one would 
think; for if we were to meet any one in the 
street who looked exactly like oaraelves, we would 
gaze at the startling, strange, familiar face only 
instinctively, and with a secret dread, without 
remarking that it is our features which we have 
jnat seen. 



CORDELIA. 

[king LEAH.] 



"There are in tbia play," says an 
author, " man-traps and spring-giins 



CORDELIA. 



36j 



I 



reader." Another remarks (liat this tragedy is 
a labyrinth m which the commentator may go 
ftstray and be in danger of death from tlie 
Minotaur who lurks tlierein, therefore he shonld 
only nse the critical scalpel in self-defence. And 
as it is indeed always a delicate and doubtful 
task to criticise Shakespeare, from whose words 
the sharpest criticism of our own thoughts and 
deeds laughs out, so it is almost impossible to 
judge him in this tragedy, where his genins 
leaped and climbed to the giddiest height. 

I dare venture no further than the gate of this 
marvellous mansion, only to the introduction, 
which of itself awakens our astonishment. The 
introductions in Shakespeare's tragedies are in- 
deed worthy of all wonder and admiration. In 
these first scenes we are at once rapt out of our 
work-day feelings and business thoughts, and 
transported to the midst of the vast events witii 
which the poet will convulse and purify onr sonls. 
So the tragedy of Macbeth begins with the meet- 
ing of the witches, and their weird sayings subdue 
not only the heart of the Scottish war-chief, who 
appears intoxicated with victory, but also the 
hearts of us the spectators, bo that we are bound 
fast till all is fulfilled and ended. As in Macbeth 
the desolate, sense- and- soul- be numbing horror of 
the bloody world of magic at once seizes on us, so 
by the awe of the pale realm of ; 




^ I IMlhlH 



I 



SMMCMSPeAR£rS UAIDBHS ASD WOMKK. 

ta iIm scene of /r<iin/(f, and we cannot fm 
m th« spectral feelings of the night, 
Ui^htninre pressure of the ancanny 
1, till all U accomplished, and till the 
«ik ^ I^MBuk, whivh wu redolent of homaD 
vMmftiii^ it QMS* i^ain made pare. 

W lW 4HI MfttM of I.taT we are in lite 
<M— Mufcwwt^ Jt»WD into the stmnge destinies 
*kifeh wv «MMac«^ unfolded, and ended before 
<««r'«;*M. TW pMt h«v girtrs Ds a drama which 
4k •■>«» ^|»gfa^ IWb all the horrors of the 
<*Mtt "^ «a«i» mi. tW mlm of ghosts ; for he 
<)fciM»<fcW— ayi«ian brmkin^ all the boands 
■A ^^mmt.mA m^m^toK^ ia the royal majesly 
•^ % ttlHHCk'^ WMfaMa — neiog with stormy 
wkaM^hUrwMM cowwMtioti. But I beUere 
to Ma «aA to tfae immense power, 
with which Shakespeare 
life itfriiT nei« his own genius 
Wm« IAk vn^. i^A <w^* him far more than 
4i< mmhitk mi. m i wU , «W«* be^ with perfectly 
MlByiat wl^l aw MJWL fcp ie te the darkest shadows 
tit %k»lN)fte«tlteWil aHagled with the rosiest 
li'mrw if-". «h4 O* bir%teHk ud most cheer- 
M ittMl^ V «h» »MmI d>«d3L Yes. in the 
IHM^ «f Itmi^ % nft «ad soothing nature 
MMW«k W>i M Ih* tiMTXts «f th* towiera of the 
M^ wIm* «k» Mo dwl dMd ia done cleare 



> th W if kl Scaaiah somm 



air, not too warm or cool, blows through the whole 
; everywhere there are beautiful trees and 
green foliage, and at the end an entire forest 
comes marching in, when Biriiam wood doth 
come to Dunsiuane. In JTamht also the loveli- 
Desa of natore contrasts with tha heat of the 
action; though it may be black night in the 
heart of the hero, the sun riaea not less beauti- 
fully in morning red, and Polonius is an nraosing 
fool, and comedies are calmly played, and poor 
Ophelia sits among green trees, and with pretty 
motley posies binds her wreath. 

But in Lear no such contrasts prevail between 
the action and nature, and the unbridled elements 
howl aiid Btorm in emulation with the mad king. 
Does a moral event of most unnsua! kind also 
act on the so-called soulless nature ? Is there 
indeed between this and the mind of man au 
external visible relationship ? Had our poet ever 
experienced this, and did he strive to depict it ? 

With the first scene of this tragedy we are, as 
1 Iiave said, put at once into the midst of events ; 
and clear as the sky may be, a sharp eye can 
foresee the coming storm. There is a little cloud 
already in the intellect of Lear, which will tliicken 
anon to the blackest mental night. He who in 
such fashion gives all away, must be already mad. 
We learn perfectly the spirit of the hero, and tha 
character of the daughter, even in tlie first act, 




366 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

and we are deeply moved by the mute tenderness 
of Cordelia, the modern Antigone, who in depth 
of soul and feeling surpasses her antique sister. 
Yes, she is a pure soul, as the king first sees 
when he is mad. Quite pure? I believe that 
she is a little self-willed, and this small spot is a 
birth-mark from the father. But true love is very 
modest, and hates all cram of words; she can only 
weep and bleed. The sad bitterness with which 
Cordelia plays upon the hypocrisy of her sisters 
is of the most delicate kind, and has all the char- 
acter of that irony which the Master of all Love, 
the hero of the gospel, sometimes employed. Her 
soul relieves itself of the justest indignation, and 
displays all her nobility in the words : — 

"Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters, 
To love my father all." ^ 



JULIA. 

[rOMFO and JULIET.] 

Every Shakespearean play has its peculiar climate, 
its own time of year, and its local attributes. And 
like the characters in every one of these dramas, 
so have the soil and sky their own marked 
physiognomy. Here, in Eornco and Julia^ we 

^ King LfaVy act i. bc. I. 

^ Ilciuw «ivt8 this name as /u/iV, Shakespeare as Juliet, 



I 



hare crossed the Alps, and find ourselves in that 
fair garden called Italia ; — 

" Know*Bt thou the country where the lemon blows, 
And in dark leavts the goldea orange glowa 1" 

It ia sunny Verona which Shakespeare haa 
chosen for the stage of the great deeds of love 
which he has glorified in Romeo and Julia. Yes, 
it 13 not this loving pair, but Love himself, who 
takes I lie leading part in this drama. Here we see 
love rising in youthful daring, defying all opposing 
circumstance, and all conquering. For he fears 
not in the great battle to take refuge with his 
most terrible, yet truest ally, Deatk Love hand 
in hand with death is iuviucible. Love! It ia 
the highest and most victorious of all passions. 
But its world-subduing strength lies in its illimi- 
table grandeur of soul, its almost supernatural 
unsellishness, in its uusacrificing acorn of life. 
There ia for it no yesterday, and it thinks of no 
to-morrow. It asks only for to-day, but asks for 
it all in full and free from care — nntroubled, un- 
diminished. It will save nothing up for future 
time, and acorns the warmed-up leavings of the 
past. " Nigbt be before me and the night behind." 
It ia a wandering flame between two darknesses. 
Whence came it? From an infinitely petty spark. 
How will it end? Without a trace, and unin- 
telligibly. The wilder it burns the sooner it ia 



J 



;6S SIIAKESFEARE'S ilAWE^S AND WOMEN. 

qnenched. Hut tliat does not hinder it when it 
Lna once given itself up to the llaring impulse, 
as if the fire would last for ever. 

All, when ono feels for the second time in life 
the great glow, unfortunately the faith in its 
eternal darance fails, and the bitterest recollec- 
tion whispers to na that this in the end, too, will 
devour itself. Hence the difference in melancholy 
in the first love and in the second. In the &T^t, 
w© think that our passion can only end tragically 
by death, and indeed when the opposin;,' threaten- 
ing difUciilties are invincible we easily make op 
our minds to hurry with the loved one to the 
grave. On the contrary, in a second love we know 
that our wildcat and noblest feelings will torn 
with time into a tender tameness, and that we 
shall yet regard with calm indifference the eyes, 
the lips, the limbs which now inspire ns so wildly. 
Ab, this thoucht is more melancholy than that o£ 
death. For it ia a sad comfortless feeling when 
we in the glow of intoxication think of future 
sobriety and coolness, and know from experience 
that the highly poetic heroic passion nmsb have 
such a pitifully prosaic end ! 

These highly poetic heroic passions ! How the 
princesses of the theatre bear themselves, and 
warmly ronged, splendidly dressed, laden with 
flashing gems, walk proudly o'er the scene de- 
claiming in measured iambics. But when the 



1 




"^VLIA. 



if") 



I curtain falls the poor princess once more puts 

[ on her common clothes, ivaslies the rouge from 

her cheeks, bonds over Ler adornments to the 

' one who has care of the costumes, and dangling 

filovenly she hangs on the arm of the first beat 

young third-rate legal officiiiP who may come 

along, talks bad Berlin German, climbs with him 

up to a garret, and yawns, stretching herself 

out, hardly heeding the sweet assnrance that Sie 

spielten jeitlich, auf Ehre ! "You played divinely 

— yon jnst did — 'pon Jionour ! " 

1 I do not venture to find the least fault with 

^ Shakespeare, and woald only express my wonder 

that he makes Romeo feel a piission for Eositliud 

before he brings him to Julia. Though he gives 

himself up utterly to this second love, there still 

nestles in his heart a certain scepticism, which 

I makes itself known in ironical expressions, and 

I often reminds us of Hamlet. Or is the second 

love the strongest in the man because it is 

coupled with clear self- consciousness ? With 

woman there is no second love, her nature is 

too tender to suffer her to survive a second 

I time the moat terrible earthqoake of feeling. 

I Look at Julia! Is she able to twice endure the 



d ftUotlernd hSngt lit sick an dcm An 
I htalen Sladtgeriohttrtfercndarn. This portentous i 
I plied to a Uwyer without salar; attached to tb 

ilratiun of justice; naturnlly n man of limiti 



370 SHAKESPEARE'S UAWESS AND WOilES. 

1 ran »;cii dent raptures and terrors, and, der^ing 
all anguish, empty again the dreadful cop. I 
lieliere she Iiad quite enongli of it the first time, 
the poor blest creature, thia pure sacrifice of the 
great passion. 

Jcilia loves for the first time, and loves with 
the full healthiness of love and soul. She ia 
fonrteen years old, which in Italy means as mnch 
lis seventeen by the Northern standard. She is a 
rosebud which is kissed before our eyes by Romeo's 
lips, and which blossoms out in youthful fulness 
and beauty. She has not learned what lore is 
from worldly or religious boohs, the sun has told 
it to her atid tlie moon repeated it, and her heart 
re-echoed it when she by night believed herself 
to be aloue. IJut Romeo stood beneath the 
balcony and heard it all, and took her at her 
word. The character of her love is truth and 
earnestness. I'be maid breathes honesty and 
truth, and it is touching to the heart when she 
speaks thus : — 

"JuL Tlioii kuow'st the uinfik ofnigLt ia on my face ; 
£lEe would a maUen lilueb bcpaiiit my cheek. 
For tbat which tbou Ijost beard me epcak to-night 
Fain would I dwell ou funn, fnin, fain deny 
Whnt I h.ive spoke ; but farewell compliment I 
Dost love me 1 1 know, thou wilt say — Ay ; 
And I will take tby word : yet, iftliou swenr'st 
1'liou majst prove false ; at lovers' perjuiiei, 
Tbey say, Jove kuglia, gentle Romeo, 



yuuA. 

If ihou dost love, pronounce it faithfully : 
Or if thon tbink'st I am loo quieldy won, 
I'll frown aii>! be perverse, and say tliee nav. 
So ihou wilt woo ; but, else, not for the world. 
In triiLli, fair Mont^ie, I nm too fond ; 
Aud therefore ihon majst think ray liavionr lig 
Bnt tmst n\e, gentleman, 111 prove more true 
Tlmn those lliat have taore eunning to be eirang 
I Bhould have been more strange, I must oonfesE 
But that thou overheard'st, ere I waa ware, 
My true love's passion : therefore pardon me ; 
And not impute tliis yielding to light love, 
Which the dark niglit baih ao diacovered," ' 



In this paper there is a great relapse from excellencp, 
' so much so that it may be almost classed as a pure 
I piice de manufacture. The remarks on first love are 
merely a repetition of communplacea which have heen 
better uttered "many a time and oft" hy others, and 
the actress princess, with her rouge and thinl-clasa 
lover, and Berlin dialect, ia a careless repetition of the 
iie simile, in almost the same words, in the comment 
on Constance. Heine assumes in these remarks that 
all men have their full mental development at the time 
of their Gi'st love, and that it is the same tremendous 
and overwhelming phase of [lassion in all, whereas in 
most cases it is true that no man ever became a fully 
developed lover, any more than a fully fledged criminal, 
all at once. For the development even of a critical i 
taste in food and wines is a matter of education a 



j;2 SIIAKESrEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOUE.V. 

experience, uid love, lit:e every passion, U gtiiJeJ, 
though it may not be created, by culture, on which 
viovf Heine hinu«lf conld have written congenially, 
genially, and ingenioudy, liad bis heart been, like the 
Irish poet's, "in his pen." 

Shakespeare lias ahown in every utterance which 
he ha« given to lover* the fullest corivictiun that the 
ercatc«t love occuis where highly cultivated intellect 
comhiuos with passion — and of lliia idea tbere is not 
n trace in tiio present rcniorks of Heine, lleine ex- 
presses astonish met) t that Shakespeare inukos Homco 
first feel a |>nssion for Rosalitii], because ho had not 
learned that tliP poet wished to show that in a man "who 
is hke Uanihrt " jiassion and culture go band in hand and 
advance. And though this is less tlio case with women, 
yet in Cleopatra love's strongest passion is its last 



DBS DEMON A. 

[OTHELLO.] 

I HAVE iiiculeutally remarked in the foregoing 
paper that the character of Romeo hua in it 
Bometbing of Hamlet. In fact, a Northern eerious 
earnestness casta its side-sbadows on tbia glowing 
mind. And if we compare Julia with Desdemona, 
tho same Northern element appears in all the 
(lower of her passion ; she is always self- conscious, 




DESDEllONA. 373 



I 



and in clearest Belf-consciousneaa mistress of lier 
deeds, Julia Wes and thinks and acta — Dea- 
demona lores, feels and obeys not her own will, 
but the stronger impnlse. Her admirable excel- 
lence lies in this, that the bad can in no respect 
act on her noble nature like the good. She 
would certainly have remained in the palazzo of 
her father, a modest child fulfilling hoosebolJ 
duties ; but the voice of the Moor was heard, and 
though she looked down she saw his countenance 
in his words, in liis stories of his life, or, as she 
flays, in his sou!, and this suffering, magnanimous, 
beautiful white face of the soul wrought on her 
heart with in-esistibly attracting magic. Yea, her 
father, the dignified and wise Brabantio, was quite 
in the right ; she was so bound in chains of magic 
that the timid, tender child felt herself drawn to 
the Moor, and bad no fear of the hideous black 
mask which the multitude regarded as the face of 
Othello. 

Julia's love ia active, that of Desdemona 
passive. She ia the sunflower, herself nncon- 
ecious that her head is ever turned toward the 
high star of day. She ia a true daugjiter of the 
South — tender, sensitive, patient, like those slen- 
der, great-eyed lights of women who beam so 
lovingly, so softly and dreamily, from the Sanscrit 
poems or plays. She ever reminds me of the 
Sakuntala of Kalidasa, the Indian Shakeapesre. 




374 SHAKESPBARE-S UAIDE.WS AKD WOMEN. 

The English engraver to whom we are iadebted 
fur the present picture of Desdemoua has given 
to her great eyes a somewhat too strong exprea- 
sioa of passion. But I believe tiint I have already 
remarked that the contrast between face and char- 
acter alwayB has its peculiar charm. In any case 
this face is very fair, and It must specially please 
the writer of these puges that it recalls that noble 
aad beautiful woman who, thank God! — never 
found any deep defect in his own face, and who 
OS yet has ouly seen it in hts soul. 

" OiWio. Her father lovca me ; oft invited me 

Still qui-stiyii'd mu the story of my life, 

Fram year lo yeitr ; tlie battles, sieges, fottuntg, 

Thai I have pass'J. 

I run it lljruugh, even from nij boyisli diiys. 

To the very moment that he bade mo tell ic 

Wbenda I Bpoke uC moeC disasiroas uliance?, 

Of moving accidents, by Hood and litld ; 

Of hair-breadlh 'ecapea i' the imminent Uu-adly breach j 

Of beins taken by the insolent foe, 

And sold lo fbivery ; of my redeiniition thence. 

And portancc iti my travi^l's hietoty : 

Wberciu ul atitres vast, and deserts idle, 

Rough quarries rocks, and hillawbose lieads toiicb heaveiL 

It was my bint to speak, such was tbe process ; 

Aud of tbe Caaaibala that each otlier eat. 

The Anihropopbagi, and men whoso heaila 

Do grow benemh their shoulders. Tliese things to hear, 

Would Desdemona setioiialy incline : 

But still tlie house affairs would draw her thence ; 

VThich ever as she could with haste despatch, 



4 





I 



DESDBMONA. 375 

"She'd come again, snJ with a. greedy ear 

Devour up my tliacourae ! Which 1 observing. 

Took once a pliaot hour ; and foand good nicaiia 

To draw from her a pmyec of earnest heart. 

That I would all my pilgrimage dilate, 

Whereof by paroela elie had aomething heard, 

But not inientively : I did consent ; 

And often did hegtiile lier of her teara, 

When I did speak of some dL^tressfiil stroke, 

That my youth suffered. My story being done, 

She gave me for my paina a world of sigiis : 

She swore, — In faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange ; 

"Twas pitifol, 'twas wondrous pitiful ; 

She wisli'd she had not lieard it, yet she wisli'd 

That Heaven had made ber such a man : slie tbank'd me, 

And bade me, if I ba^l a friend that loved her, 

I should but tench him how to tell my story. 

And that would woo her. Upon this hint, I spake j 

She loved me for tlie dangers I hnd pass'd ; 

And I loved her, that she did pity them. 

This only is the witchcraft I have used ; 

Here comes the lady, let her witnesa iL" ^ 



This tragedy ia believed to be the lust work 
of Sbakespeare, as Tihts Androniciis was the first. 
In both the love of a i'aii* lady for an ugly negro 
ia treated with predilection. The man matured, 
returned to tlie problem wJiicli had busied his 
youth. Has he here found the solution of it ? 
Ib this solution &a true as it is beautiful? A 
gloomy grieving seizes me wljen I give place to ■ 

' (HluMo, wt i. ac 3. 




3;6 SflAKESPEARES iiAWUNS AND WOMEN. 

the thought that the honourable lago, with his 
evil commeuts on the love of Desdemona for the 
iloor, is not all id the wrong. Most repalsive of 
all to me are Otheilo's remarks on the damp hand 
ofhia wifft 

There is just such a matrelloua and significant 
example of love for a negro, such as we see in 
Titua Amlronicus and Othdlo, in the "Arabian 
Nights' Entertainments," where a beautiful prin- 
cess, who is nJso a sorceress, keeps her husband 
Itound in a statue-like immovability, and beats 
him daily with rods because he slew her negro 
lover. Heartrending are the wails of the princess 
over the bier of the black corpse, which she by 
her magic art keeps in a kind of apparent life and 
covers with the kisses of despair, and which ahe 
would fain, by the greater magic of love, wake from 
its twilight-dimmering half death to the fall truth 
of life. Even as a boy I was struck in reading 
the Arabian tale with this pictnre of passionate 
and incomprehensible love.* 

' There are nninny the logends of tbo peasants is ths 
Rumagnn Tuacaii:i two which Btrangely recall this CDianient. 
One ia uf a \aAy who became^ titeeintt b; inerelj looking; at a 
black DT Mourisb wizard, tlia other ia o[ a young g[rl who keepi 
under her bed in a chest the petrified bnd; of ber dead lover, 
which ehe eveiy night "covers witb the kiasei of daapolr," m 
Heins descrlbcB 'A — TrmiiliilOT. 



JESSrCA. 



[T, 



; MERCHANT C 



NICE.] 



Whex I saw this piece played in Drury Lane 
there stood behind me in the box a pale British 
beauty who, ab the end of the fourth act, wept 
passionately, and many timea cried out, "The 
poor man is wronged I " It was a countenance of 
noblest Grecian cut, and the eyes were large and 
black. I have never been able to forget them, 
those great black eyes which we[]fc for Shylock! 

When I think of those teara I must include the 
Merchant of Venice among the tragedies, althongh 
the frame of the work is a composition of laughing 
masks and sunny faces, satyr forms and amoreta, 
as though the poet meant to make a comedy. 
Shakespeare perhaps intended origioally to please 
the mob, to represent a thorough going wehr-wolf, 
a hat^d fabulous being who yeants for blood, and 
pays for it with daughter and with ducats, and ia 
over and above laughed to scorn. But the genius 
of the poet, the spirit of the wide world which 
ruled in bira, was ever stronger than his own will, 
and 80 it came to pass that he in Shylock, despite 
the glaring grotesqneness, expressed the justitica- 
tion of an unfortunate sect which was 
by providence, from inscrutable motives, with the 




378 SIIAKBSPEARES MAIDENS ASD WOUES. 

hatred ot the lower luitl higher cla^s, and which 
ilid not always retnrn this hnte with love." 

But what do I say ? The genius of Shakespeare 
rises still higher over the petty strife of two re- 
ligions sects, and his drnma shows us neither Jews 
nor Christians, bnt oppressora aud oppressed, and 
the madly agonised cries of exultation of the latter 
when they can repay their arrears of injuries with 
interest. There is not in this play the least trace 
of difference in religion, and Sbatespeare seta 
forth in Shylock a man whom nature bade hate 
his enemies, just as he in Antonio and his friends 
by no means expresses the disciples of that divine 
doctrine which commands ns to love onr enemies. 
When Shylock says to the man who would borrow 
money of him : — 

" Siij'jur Antonio, many a lime an<l ort, 
In ihu Kiiilio, you havi! raled mm 
About my monies and my uaancet : 
Still Lave I borne it with a patient shrug - 

' This SBSvrtiuQ thnt Sbnkespenre meani to make u wild bewt 
of Sbf lock, but WBfl cumpetled noUtu ixicnt hy biB better n&taFa 
tu depict biiQ aa "the only decent man in tlia l>lajr," cecalla 
tbe fact tliKt when tbe German army entered Paris there wub 
» sTDutl port of the city to whicb the inv^ulura did iiot penetrate. 
On nhich tba local press declared that tiie barbttriun foe, atruclc 
by the moml grandeur of the French, hod not daitd to advance 
further. It ii probable, if not certain, that Shakespeara knew 
wliat he meant to write quite as well as any critic of the present 
d.iy, DC even Heine. 



yESSICA. 379 

For suflf ranee is the badge of all our tribe : 
You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, 
And spit upon my Jewisli gaberdine. 
And all for use of that which is mine own. 
Well, then, it now appears you need my help : 
Go to, then ; you come to me, and you say, 

* Shylock, we would have monies : * — you say so ; 
You, that did void your rheum upon my beard, 
And foot me, as you spurn a stranger cur 

Over your threshold : monies is your suit. 
Wliat should I say to you ] Should I not say 

* Hath a dog money 1 Is it possible, 

A cur can lend three thousand ducats V or 
Shall I bend low, and in a bondman's key. 
With 'bated breath and wliisp'ring humbleness, 
Say this, — 

* Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last ; 
You spum'd me such a day ; another time 
You calPd me dog ; and for these courtesies 
I'll lend you thus much monies ]'" ^ 

To which Antonio replies : — 

'* I am as like to call thee so ngain, 
To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too." 

Where is the Christian love in this? Truly 
Shakespeare would have written a satire against 
Christianity if he had made it consist of those 
characters who are the enemies of Shylock, but 
who are hardly worthy to unlace his shoes. The 
bankrupt Antonio is a weak creature without 
energy, without strength of hatred, and as little 

^ Merchant of Venice^ act i. so. 3. 



S!m SMAKEStRAKES ilAIDENS AND WOUBN. 

vS )>yr\ It tnclwtoliniy worm-heart whoso fleali ia 
rrftltr wvHtb nothtnjf nve "to l>ait fish withal." 
H« AoM w< tvpKy tli» swinilled Jew the three 
thixnUMl due*-'*. Nor ioca Rnsstaiio repfty him 
— Utn nMn ii, »s an Knglish critic calU him, a real 
fbctant^antw ; hf honmn mfmef to make a dis- 
|4«7 K M to vin ft rid) vifa and a fnt bridal 
portioB. fl'T M ho nrs to hts friecd :^ 

* Tte Mt ttfttaMWB lo fon, Autnnin, 
Haw anwti I Imv* Jinblcil minit wtati^ 
By •MnttltiMf Aowjui: « moR «wtlling port 
TViA W<r U»\ MMDi iin>uU inntit coiitinnatiM ; 
ll«f ■(• 1 Mttw make m««n in ba nbriilg*!! 
FtMH •«»»*> » tt-l'lc tjt« ; liul ray eliief tare 
l\ «> fww« Wrfjr off fri>m Uio great dvtw, 
Vn«vvin My UiM, aonwihin^ too iinxtlgal) 
Ihlk kfl at* ipv:^ Tb }mu. Aiitoiiia^ 
1 oww U>« VMm, ia uom}^ ami in lore i 
AnJ thoa ^'«i l«v* I Imtq a VHitantj 
1^ anWtilMA all wy pltrf* and purpoaos^ 
II.>« !•• i^t <lMt ot all til* il«l>t« I ow-cl' > 

Aa Tvvr Li>r«>nKi, h« is Ute accouiplice of n moet 
iufaimtn* thi'ft, and acmrdin^ to the laws of 
IVuaaia h« would h«r« b«en branded, seb ia the 
liiHory, R«d ocimKimni-d to tit^cen years" imprison- 
iBttUt-, uotwiUiatAudinK his suscepUbilily to the 
bMttti<?a of naluTvs landscapes hy moonlight^ and 
mnsiix Aa for the other noble Vi^netians who 
ni'iMarfts allioit ttf Antonio, they du not seem to hare 
' ir«raU<ti ^ >'«i(*. Ml L M. I. 



noS^^l 



yESSICA. 

any special antipathy to nioiiey, and ivliea t 
poor friend is in difficulties they have nothing ' 
for him but words or minted air. Our good pioua 
friend Franz Horn here makes the following very 
thin and watery, but still quite correct, remark ; 
"Here it is but fair to inquire: How 
possible that Antonio's misfortune went so 
All Venice knew nnd esteemed him, his excellent 
acqnoiDtancea knew all about the terrible bond, 
and also that the Jew would not abate so much 
as ft point of punctuation from it. Yet they 1 
one day pass after another, till at last the thre 
months expired, and wiMi them every bop 
rescuft Surely it would have been an easy t 
for those good friends, of whom the royal merchant 
bad a multitude, to raise three thousand ducata 
to save a human life — and such a life! — but such 
a thing is always rather inconvenient, and so the 
dear good friends, because tliey are only so-called 
friends, or half or three-quarter friends, do — 
nothing, nothing still and naught again. They pity 
the excellent merchant who formerly gave them 
such fine feasts ; scold terribly witli all their hearts 
and tongues, though only at fitting opportunity, 
at Shylock, a thing incurring no danger, and then 
think they have done all that friendship reqnirea. 
Much as we must hate Sbylock we can hardly take 
it amiss of him that he despises this folk a little, 
as he well may do. Indeed he seems to cunfusa _ 



382 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

even Gratiano, who is excused by his absence, in 
one and the same class, when he dismisses sum- 
marily the previous lack of deeds and present 
fulness of words with the remark : — 

** Till thou canst rail the seal from oflf my bond. 
Thou but oflfend'st thy lungs to speak so loud : 
Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall 
To cureless ruin. — I stand here for law." ^ 

Or is, perhaps, Launcelot Gobbo here the repre- 
sentative of Christianity ? Singularly enough, 
Shakespeare has nowhere expressed himself so 
clearly as to this, as in the dialogue which this 
rogue holds with his mistress. To Jessica's as- 
sertion — 

" I shall l>c saved by my husband ; he hath made me a 
Christian." 

Launcelot Gobbo replies — 

"Truly, the more to Idame he: we were Christians 
enow before ; e'en as many as could well live, one by 
another. This making of Christians will raise the price 
of hogs : if we grow all to be pork-eaters, we shall not 
shortly have a rasher on the coals for money." ^ 

In fact, with the exception of Portia, Shylock 
is the most respectable person in the whole piece. 
He loves money, he does not conceal it — he cries 
it aloud in the public market-place. But there 
is one thin^r which he esteems above monev, it 

^ Merchant of Venice, act iv. so. I. 
^ Ibid., act iii sc. 5. 



ysssicA. 383 I 

is Batififaction for his injured feelings— the just 
retribution for unspeakable insults; and though 
the borrowed sum be offered him tenfold he refases 
it, and ho does not regret the three thousand, or 
ten times three thousand, ducats if he can buy 
a pound of the llesh of the heart of his enemy. 
" Thou wilt not take his flesh : what's that good 
for?" aska Salarino. And he replies: — 

"To bait fish ivitlial : if it will feed notliing else, it will 
feed my revenge. He hatk disgraced me, and hindered 
me of half a million ; lauglied at my Itaaes, mocked at my 
gains, Bconied my iiatioii, thwarted ray barKaina, cooled 
my frientls, lieated mine enemies ; aud whal'a his reiiEon 1 
I am Jew. Hath not a Jew eyea '{ hath not a Jew 
hands, ori^aoa, dimensioiia, seiievs, afTectlDDP, passiuiisl 
fed with tiie lame food, hurt with the Baiiie weapons, 
subject to the same diseoBes, htaled hy the same means, 
\rarmed and cooled by the same winter and BUBimer, as 
a Christian ia 1 if you prick ns, do we not bleed 1 if you 
tickle HE, do we not laugh ? if you poiaon ua, do we not 
die ) and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge ? if we are 
like you in the rest, we will reGeiithle you tn that. If a 
Jew wrong a Chrisliaji, what is liis humility 1 revenge : if 
a Ohrifitian wrong a Jew, what should hia anRrance be hf 
Chriatian example 1 why, revenue. The villainy you 
teach me, I will e:cecu1e ; and it sliall go hard hut X will 
belter the instruction." ' 

^L No, Shylock loves money, bnt there are things , 
^m which he loves more, among others his daughter , 



I 

I 



' MercTiant of Veniei 



3S4 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

'^Jessica, my cbili" Though he curses lier in 
the greatest passion of wrath, and would fain see 
her dead at his feet, with the jewels in her ears 
and with the ducats in her coffin, he still loves 
her more than all ducats and jewela Ezclnded 
from public life and Christian society, and forced 
into the narrow consolation of domestio happi- 
ness, there remain to the poor Jew only family 
feelings, and these come forth from him with the 
most touching tenderness. The turquoise, the 
ring which his wife Leah once gave him, he would 
not exchange for "a wilderness of monkeya" 
AVhen in the judgment scene Bassanio speaks 
thus to Antonio : — 

**Antoi:io, I ani married to a wife 
Which is as de.ir to me as life itself : 
r>iit life nsA^\(, my wife, and all the world. 
Art? not witii me esteem'd ab<->ve thy life : 
I woidd li^se uli, ny, sacrifice them all 
Here to this de\ il, to deliver you." 

To which Gratiano adds: — 

** I have a wifo, whom, I protest, I love : 
I would she were in heaven, so she could 
Kntreat some power to change thia currish Jew.*'t 

Then there awakes in Sbylock a dreadful appre- 
hension as to the fate of his daughter, married 

* Merchant of Vcnict^ act iv. so. I. 



yESSICA. 3S5 

among men who will sacrifice their wives for 
their friends, and aside, not aloud, he says to 
himself: — 

" These be the Christian husbamls I I have a daughter ; 
Would any of the stock of Barrabas 
Had been her husband, rather than a Christian I ** ^ 

This passage — this casual word— is the basis of 
the condemnation which we must pronounce of 
the fair Jessica. It was not an unloving father 
whom she robbed and abandoned. Shameful 
deceit ! She even makes common cause with . the 
enemies of Shy lock, and when they at Belmont 
say all manner of evil things of him, Jessica does 
not cast down her eyes, nor do her lips grow 
white — no, Jessica herself says the worst things 
of her father. Atrocious wickedness! She has 
no feeliug, only a love of what is remarkable and 
romantia She is wearied and ennuy4e in the 
closely shut "honourable" house of the stern 
and bitter Jew, which at last appears to her to 
be a hell. Her frivolous heart was all too easily 
attracted by the lively notes of the drum, and 
the wry-necked fife. Did Shakespeare here mean 
to sketch a Jewess ? Indeed no ; what he depicts 
is only a daughter of Eve, one of those beautiful 
birds, who, when they are fledged, fly away from 
the paternal nest to the beloved man. So Desde- 

^ Merchant of VerlcCy act iv. sc. i. 

2 B 



386 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

mona followed the Moor, so Imogene Postliamna 
That is woman's way. We may remark in Jessica 
a certain timid shame whioh she cannot over- 
come when she must pnt on a boy's dresa It 
may be that in this we recognise the remarkable 
chastity which is pecoUar ^ to her race, and which 
gives its daughters such a wonderfully lovely 
charm. The chastity of the Jews is perhaps the 
result of an opposition which they always main^ 
tained against that Oriental religion of sense and 
sensuality which once flourished among their 
neighbours the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Assyrians, 
and Babylonians in rankest luxuriance, and which 
in continual transformation has survived to the 
present day.^ The Jews are a chaste, temperate, 
I might say an abstract race, and in purity of 
morals they are most nearly allied to the Ger- 
manic races. The chastity of the women among 
.Jews and Germans is perhaps of no real value 
in itself, but its manifestation makes the most 

^ Eijcn^ own, proper. Eifjcns, particularly, especially, 
^ Of all which charraiii;^' cluistity and opposition to sensual 
worship, Heine elsewhere in many places expresses a very sin- 
cere detestation ; as, for instance, in the " Rabbi of Bacharach," 
where he unquestionably portrays himself as the Spanish Jasr^ 
and declares that if he had lived of old in Judea he would have 
skipped over some fine morning to jolly Babylon. As he cer- 
tainly would have done. And it may be also remarked, as 
regards the next sentence, that it is hardly consistent to declare 
that anything can be in itself worthless and yet always produce 
marvellous results I — Translator. 




yESSJCA. 



3=7 



scinnting, cliarmingly sweet, and deeply moving 
* impression. It is toacliing even to tears wliea 
we read that after the defeat of the Cimbri and 
Teutones, the women begged Marins not to give 
them over to the soldiery, bat to make them slaves 
in the temple of Veata. 

It is indeed' wonderful what a deep elective 
affinity prevails between both races, Jews and 
Germans. This chosen alliance did not originate 
in a historical course, because the great family 
chronicle of the Jawa, or the Bible, was naed by 
the whole Germanic world, nor because both races 
were from early times foes to the Romans, and 
fvere thereby naturally allies; it has a deeper 
jroundj the two being so mnch alike that one 

ght regard primteval Palestine aa an Oriental 

rermany, just as one might regard the Germany 

E to-day as the home of the Holy Word, for the 

toother-soil of prophetdom, for the citadel of the 

FHoly Spirit.* 

But it is not Germany along which bears the 
physiognomy of Palestine ; all Europe raises itself 
to the Jews. I say raises itself, because in the 
beginning the Jews had the modern principle in 
themselves which ia at the present day developing 
itself for the first tima 

Greeks and Romans held as if inspired to 

6heir native soil — to the Fatherland. The later 

' Geislheil, spirit-hood, spirituality. 




jSS SHAKESPBARE'S UAtDENS AND WOUEH. 

Northern inimigrants to the Gr:«:o-Roinaa world 
were attached to the persons of their cliiefs, and 
instead of antique patriotism the Middle Agea 
witnessed the faith of vassala and loyalty to 
princes. But the Jews always held to and 
reverenced that Law or an abstract conception, 
like oar new cosmopolite republicans, who care 
neither for the country of their birth nor the 
pereoDs of princes, but regard laws as leodioT 
principles or the highest. Yes, cosmopolitanisai 
sprung fram the land of Judea alone, and Christ, 
who, dfspite the displeasure of the before-men- 
tioned Hamburg grocer, was a real Jew, actuiilly 
founded a propaganda of cosmopolitanism. As 
for the republicanism of the Jews, I remember to 
bave read in Josephus that there were in Jeru- 
salem republicans who opposed the royally-in- 
clined Uerodians, fought them fiercely, and called 
no man " master," and hated Eoman absolutiam 
moit bitterly. Treedom and equality was their 
religion. What madness! 

But what is the real reason for that hatred 
which we see here in Europe between the adherents 
of the Mosaic law and the teaching of Christ to 
the present day, and of which the poet, illustrating 
general principles by facts, gives us a terribl* 
picture in ilit Merchant of Venice. Is it the 
original fraternal hatred which we saw flame 
forth between Cain and Abel caused by different 



ereat J 



yESSICA. 3S9 

raothods of sacrifice ? Or ia religion only a pre- 
tence, and do men hate one aaother simply to 
liate, just as they love to love? On which sido 
ia the guilt in this animosity ? I cannot here 
refrain from giving as an answer to this question 
an extract from a private letter, which also justi- 
fies the foea of Shylock : — ^ 

"I do not condemn the hatred with which thi 
common people persecute the Jews, I condemn 
the unfortunate errors which caused that hatred. 
The people are always in the right ; in their hnte 
as in their love there is always at bottom a 
perfectly correct instinctj but they do not know 
how to put emotions properly into shape, and so, 
instead of the proper subject, tlieir grudge fulls 
on the innocent scapegoat of the disorders and 
dissei^ions of time or place. The mob is in want, 
it lacks the means to enjoy life, and though the 
high priest of the religion of state assures it that 
man is here on earth to endure and suffer, and to 
obey the authorities in spite of hunger and thirst, 
still the people have secret yearnings for what 

I gratifies their senses, and they hate those in 
' Our author here appears to have quite forgntten tb&t ha 
has olreadj perfectly and very piously accuuuted for uU the 
pereecution of the Jews, by informing na that it was due to 
"a mysterious dispeiitatiou of Provldtinae." Die Voradiuiuf 
aui gtheimnUfoilUn G^ilnden. Snrel; aftcc this it was hardly 
c'ltisistent to attempt to aiplain it liks » mora irreligioua 
ratiunali^t 1 



I 



I 



1 



S90 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

nvliose chests and safes their means thereunto lie* 
lioanled up, they hate the rich, and are glad when 
religion permits them to give fall swing to this 
hatred. The common people hated in the Jews 
only the owners of money — it was always the 
heaped-up metal which attracted the lightning of 
popular wrath to the Jewa The spirit of the 
times gave its password or parole to that hatred. 
In the cuddle Ages it bore the gloomy colour 
of the Catholic Church and people, killed Jews 
and plundered their houses because they crucified 
Christ, with quite the same logic certain black 
Christians at the time of the massacre in San 
Domingo paraded about with a picture of Christ 
on the cross and fanatically cried : Zes blancs Font 
ttf(\ (kohs nous Ics hhuics!'^ 

My friond, you langh at the poor negroes; but 
I assure you that the West Indian planters did 

' Heino would have bocn cliarmed (had he ever heard of it) 
with an incident which once occurred in California. A China- 
man who had heard some dim account of the Crucifixion, and 
of which all he rcnienibored was that it had been an exceedingly 
dii^creditablo tr:insacti(»n to all concerned, had a quarrel with 
a Jew, and in aiij^er, cried : " My savvy you — you one-piecee 
bad nmn — >(ni velly bad man — you killee Melican man's Joss," 
The conduct of the St. Domingo blacks recalls a passage from 
a negro sermon which was delivered in Philadelphia: **My 
hyartTs — bresa do Lawd, dure was'n no cullered folks at do 
Crucifixion. De r>ible doesn't mention one single nigga's bein* 
dar. Of cose dere wjis plenty of *em in Jeruealeni, else who'd a 
done de wite-washin' on waitin'? But dey had too much sense 
to 'tend to any such doin's as crucifyin' folks." — 7'randdtor, 



yESSICA. 

not laiigli M-heii tbey were massaci'ed in expiatio 
to Christ, as tlie European Jews had been a f 
centuries before. But the black Christiana < 
San Domingo were quite iu the right. 
whites lived idly in full enjoyment of all pleJ 
Bares, while the negro who worked for them in 
the sweat of his black brow got for pay a little 
rice-meal and very many lashes — the blacks were 
the common folk. 

"We no longer live in the Middle Ages; the 
common folk themselves are more enlightened, — 
they no longer kill the Jews dead at sight, nor 
palliate their hatred with religion; oar age is 
no longer so hot with religious zeal, the traditional 
grudge veils itself with modem figures of speech, 
and the lower orders in the pot-houses declaim 
against the Jews, like their betters in the chamber 
of deputies, with mercantile, industrial, scientific, 
or even philosophical arguments. Only utter 
hypocrites continue to give their hatred a religious 
hue and persecute Jews on account of Christ ; the 
great multitude confesses that material interests 
are what are really at stake, and will by all 
possible means make the realisation of their i 
diistrial capacities impossible to Jews, Here it^ 
Frankfort, for example, only twenty-foar believei 
in tke law of Moses can be married annually, lesB 
their population should increase and thereby b 
much competition with Chrietian business peopid 



392 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

be created. Here the real reason for hating the 
Jews shows itself with its true face, and this face 
lias not the gloomy fanatical features of a monk, 
but the flabby tricky traits of a tradesman who 
with fear works in business, as in behaviour, to 
keep from being beaten by the Jewish commercial 
spirit. 

'* But is it the fault of the Jews that this 
business-spirit has twined itself round them in 
such a threatening manner? The guilt lies 
entirely in that lunacy with which man in the 
Middle Ages ignored the meaning of industry, 
regarding trade as something ignoble, even that 
in money as something accursed, and therefore 
gave that most profitable part of all business over 
to the Jews, so that these latter, being excluded 
from all other occupations, necessarily became the 
most refined and expei-t merchants and bankers. 
The world compelled them to become rich, and 
then hated tliem for their wealth, and thousfh 
Christianity has laid aside its prejudices against 
industry, and the Christians have become in trade 
and industry as great rascals and as rich as the 
Jews, still the old popular hatred against the 
latter survives, the people persist in seeing in 
them always the representatives of money, and 
hate them. You see that in history every one is 
in the right, the hammer as well as the anviU* 



yESSlCA. 393 

It is much to be regretted that our author shoiiLl 

1 this pnpec have so much lost sight of his text or 

Kcuhjectr, or tliat, as regards these last sentences, his 

"friend " should, in his lofty scorn ior "finance" and 

** tradesmen," have employed the wom-out, false, and 

feeble plea tlint Jews ^enforced into becoming bankers 

uid men of business. In this JiadesiSele, when business 

B regarded as a great and nohle science, and allied to, 

n not identicid with, diplomacy, social science, and 

^philanthropy, it is no discredit to have been the great 

fagenta of commerce, even in the days of chivalry. It 

is very evident, indeed, that the Jews, in common with 

the Phcenicians and al! Semitic races, were always 

keen men of business, even while tliey were wntriors. 

■ The buying up of grain by Joseph, and the testimony 

JBf Latin writers, iudicnto that this was recognised long 

Mfore the Middle Ages. A race who could have in- 

ffented, or introduced, bills of exchange in the tenth 

mtury, but who were in all probability familiar with 

I the great banking houses of Assyria during 

Uie Captivity, probably required no extreme pressure 

make them discount bills. As Heine informed the 

Bader in the paper on Queen Margaret, that all the 

English chivalry and knighthood was mere greed and 

n the interests of bankers and shopmen, ha 

fehould in fairness have made this exception when 

mbsequently declaring that gentlemen in the Middle 

: had anything to do with such repulsive 

occupations. The Jews were not forced into business, 

they entered Europe already passed grand-masters of 

-to their great credit be it spoken — and, aided by 



394 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

other influences^ they forced society into it It never 
seems to have occurred to Heine that this was a 
Buhject for pride; ho invariably appears like the 
swell in Punchy who had a great horror of business. 
And he also forgets something, of which his text 
should have reminded him, that in Italy, especially 
in Venice, the noblest and most aristocratic Christian 
families were engaged in commerce and banking. It 
is not yet settled whether the three balls of the pawn- 
brokers were derived from the anus of the Lombards, 
or from the pills of the liledici. 



PORTIA. 
[the merchant of venice.] 

** It is probable that all art-critics are so dazzled 
and captured by the astonishing character of 
Shylock that they fail to do justice to Portia, 
although Shylock is not richer artistically, nor 
more complete in his way, than Portia in hers. 
The two brilliant figures are both worthy of 
honour, worthy to be placed in the rich realm of 
enchanting poetry and admirable charming forms. 
By the terrible, unpitying Jew, against his mighty 
shadow, strongly contrasted with her brilliant 
light, she hangs like a magnificent Titian, breath- 
ing beauty, near a glorious Rembrandt. 

"Portia has her full share of the agreeable 



Cjualities which Shakespeare has given to 
of hia female characters ; bufc with the di 
the Bweetneas, aod tenderness which especially 
characterise her sex, she ^rassesses quite pecnliar or 
epecial endowments — great intellectual power, in- 
spired mind, decided iirmnesa, and a sprightlinesB 
which plays over all. These are inboni, but she 
Ima still other remarkable external gifts, which 
result from her position and relations. Thus she 
is heiress to a princely name and incalculable 
wealth; she is always surrounded by a host of 
gay pleasures ; from infancy she baa breathed an 
atmosphere apiced with perfume and the fragrance 
of flattery. Hence & commanding bufc charminL 
manner, an aristocratic elevated tenderness, a spiriej 
of magnificence in all which she does and says, 
of one familiar from birtb with splendour. Sha 
wanders ever as if in marble palaces, under gold- 
embroidered canopies ; on floors of cedar and 
mosaics of jasper and porphyry ; in gardens with 
statues, flowers, and fountains, and spiritual whis- 
pering music. She is full of penetrating wisdom, 
truest tendemesa, and lively wit. And never 
having known poverty, grief, fear, or adversity, 
her wisdom has no trace of gloom or sadness ; all 
ber actions are inspired with faith, hope, and joy, 
and her wit is not in the least malicious or biting,''^ 



tranalatinn of Hcii 



ice 




396 SHAKESPEARE'S MArDE,\S A.\D WOMEN. 

I bnve taken the forepoinfr pnss.ngeB from a work 
by Mrs, Jamieeon, entitled, " Moial, Poetical, and 
Historical Churacters of Women." 

In tbiB work onJy the women of Sbakespeare 
Rre discuEsed, and what is here cited iniiicate tha 
Bpirit of the writer, who is probably a Scotch laily. 
What she says of Portia, as opposed to yhylock, 
ia not only beautiful but trtie. Should we take 
the latter, accordin;^ to the usual conception, 
B8 the representative of the stern, earnest, art- 
detesting representative of Jadea, Portia, on the 
contrary, appears to na as setting forth that 
afler-blossoming of Greek spirit which spread 
forth its delicious perCiime in the sixteenth cen- 
tury from Italy all over the world, and which 
we love and esteem to-day aa the Renaissance, 
Portia ia also the type of gay prosperity in anti- 
thesis to the gloomy adversity which Sbylock 
presents. How blooming, rose-like, pure ringing, 
ia her every thought and saying, how glowing 
with joy her every word, how beautiful all the 
figures of her phrases, which are mostly from the 
mythology. And how dismal, sharp, pinching, 
and ugly are, on the contrary, the thoughta and 
utterances of Shylock, who employs only simitea 
from the Old Testament. His wit is cramped and 
corroding, he seeks his metaphors araid the most 
repulsive subjects, and even his words are discords 
Bcjueezed together, shrill, hissing, and whirring. 



PORTIA. . 397 

As the people, so their homes. When we see 
how the servant of Jehovah will not endure an 
image of either God or man in his " honourable 
house," and even closes its ears — the windows — 
lest the sounds of heathenish masquerading should 
pierce therein, and then see on the contrary the 
costly and exquisitely tasteful villegiatura-life in 
the beautiful palace of Belmont, where all is light 
and music, where among pictures, marble statues, 
and high laurel-trees, the elegantly clad wooers 
wander and discuss enigmas of love, while through 
and amid all this splendour fair Signora Portia 
gleams like a goddess whose sunny locks — 

" Hang on lier temples like a golden fleece.'* * 

By such a contrast the two chief personages 
of the drama are so individualised that one mi<jhfc 
swear they were not the feigned fantasies of a 
poet, but real people and of woman born. Yes, 
they seem to us to be even more living than 
the common creatures of the world, for neither 
time nor death have part in them, and in their 
veins runs immortal blood, that of undying 
poetry. When thou goest to Venice and wan- 
derest through the Doge's palace, thou k newest 
well that neither in the hall of the senators, nor 
on the Giant's Stair, wilt thou meet Marino 

* Merchaiii of VenicCf act i. sc. I. 



398 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

Faliero. Of the old Dandolo thoa wilt indeed 
be reminded in the Arsenal, bat on none of tlie 
golden galleys wilt thoa seek the blind hero. 
Seest thoa on one corner of the Via Santa a 
snake carved in stone, and on the other a winged 
lion, which holds the head of the serpent in his 
claws, yoa may remember the proad Garmagnolo, 
but only for an instant. Bat far more than all 
such historical persons wilt thoa think in Venice 
of Shakespeare's Shylock, who is ever living while 
they are long mouldered in the grave. 

And when thoa crossest the Ilialto thine ej-e 
will seek him everywhere, and thoa deemest lie 
must be there behind some pillar with his Jewis^h 
gaberdine, his mistrusting, reckoning face, and 
thou believest many a time that thou canst 
hear his harsh voice — " Three tLousand ducats 
—well!" 

I at least, a wandering hunter of dreams, looked 
around me on the Eialto to see if I could find 
8h}'lock. 1 had something to tell him which 
would have pleased him ; which was, that his 
cousin Monsieur de Shylock in Paris had become 
the greatest baron of all Christendom, and re- 
ceived from their Catholic Majesties the Order 
of Isabella, which was originally instituted to 
celebrate the expulsion of Jews and Moors from 
Spain. But I found him not on the Rialto, so 
1 determined to look for my old acquaintance 



in the Synagogue. TLe Jews happened to bo ' 
just then celebrating tbeir holy Feaab of Espia- 
tionj and stood wrapped up in their white ScJiaii- 
/aden- Tatar en,^ with strange, mysterious noddinga 
of their heads, looking like a company of spectres. 
The poor Jews who stood there fasting and pray- 
ing since early in the morning had not tasted 
food nor drink since the yester-evening, and had 
alsofirst of all begged pardon of all their acquaint- 
ances foi- any evil things which they might have 
said of them during the past year, that God might 
in like manner forgive tbem their sins — a beantil'ul i 
custom, which very strangely exists among this 
race, which has, however, remained afar from the ] 
teachings of Christ. 

But while looking round for old Shylock and I 
passing in careful review all the pale snffering 
faces of the Jews, I made a discovery which I — 
more is the pity! — cannot suppress, I had the 
Bame day visited the madhouse of San Carlo, and 
now it occurred to me in the Synagogue that i 
there glimmered in the glances of the Jews the i 
Bame dreadful, half staring, half nnsteady, half I 
crafty, half stupid expression which I had previ- 
OQsly Been in the eyes of the lunatics in San i 
Carlo. This indescribable, perplexing look did | 
not so much indicate absence of mind as rather 
the supremacy of a fixed idea. Has perhaps the 

' A peculiar bead-dress, wni'ii hy Jaws in Che ajnagngue, 



400 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN. 

faith in that extra-mundane thunder-god whom 
Moses preached, become the fixed idea of a whole 
race, so that, though they have for two thousand 
years suffered from it in strait-jackets and shower- 
baths, yet for all that will not give it up — like 
that lunatic lawyer whom I saw in San Carlo, 
wlio would not be persuaded but what the sun 
was an English cheese, the rays of which were 
long red maggots, and that one of these worm- 
rays was eating away liis brain. 

I will here by no means deny the value of that 
fixed idea, but I will only say that those who 
have it are much too weak to manage it, and 
therefore being oppressed by it have become 
incurable. Wliat tremendous martyrdom have 
they suffered from it ! what greater martyrdoms 
await thera in future ! I shudder at the thought, 
and an infinite pity ripples through my heart. 
During the whole Middle Ages, till to-day, the 
predominant view of all things was not in direct 
contradiction with that idea with which Moses 
burdened the Jews, lashed it into them with holy 
straps, and cut it deeply into their flesh — in fact, 
they did not differ materially from Christians and 
Mahometans, nor by an antagonistic synthesis, but 
only by analysis and shibboleth. But if Satan, 
or the sinful pantheism — from which may all the 
saints of the Old and New Testament as well as 
the Koran protect us ! — should conquer, there will 



PORTIA, 401 

fall on the heads of the poor Jews a tempest 
of persecution which will far surpass all their 
previous sufferings. 

Though I looked all around in the synagogue 
of Venice, on every side I could nowhere see the 
face of Shylock. And yet it seemed to me he 
must be there, hidden under one of those white 
talarSj praying more fervently than any of his 
fellow-believers, with stormy, wild passion, yes, 
with madness, to the throne of Jehovah, the severe, 
divine monarch. I saw him not. But towards 
evening when, according to the belief of the Jews, 
the gates of heaven are closed and no further 
prayer can entw, I heard a voice in which tears 
flowed as they were never wept from eyes. There 
was a sobbing which might have moved a stone 
to pity — there were utterances of agony such as 
could only come from a breast which held shut 
within itself all the martyrdom which an utterly 
tormented race had endured for eighteen centuries. 
It was the death-rattle of a soul which, weary to 
death, sinks to the ground before the gates of 
heaven. And this voice seemed to be well known 
to me— as if I had heard it long long ago, when it 
wailed just as despairingly, "Jessica, my child!" 



2 C 



MAIDENS AND WOMEN 



IN THE 



COMEDIES OF SHAKESPEARE. 



MIRANDA. 
[The Tempest, Act II L Scent i.] 

Ftr, Wherefore weep you ? 

Mira^ At mine unworthiness, that dare not offer 
What I desire to give, and much less take 
What I shall die to want. But this is trifling } 
And all the more it seeks to hide itself, 
The bigger bulk it shows. Hence, bashful cunning I 
And prompt me, plain and holy innocence t 
I am your wife, if you will marry me ; 
If not, ril die your maid : to be your fellow 
You may deny me ; but I '11 be your servant, 
Whether you will or no. 

Fer, My mistress, dearest, 
And I thus humble ever. 

Mira. My husband then % 

Fer, Ay, with a heart as willing 
As bondage e'er of freedom : here's my hand. 

Mira, And mine, with my heart in \ And now farewell 
Till half an hour hence. 



40J 



4o6 SHAKESPEARB*S MAIDENS AND WOMEN 



TITAN I A. 
[Midsummer Nigut*s Dream, A^ IL Scene 3.] 

Efder Titania, vnHh her traitk 

TUa, Come, now a roundel, and a fairy song ; 
Then, for the third part of a minute, hence ; 
Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds ; 
Some, war with renr-mice for their leathern wings, 
To make my small elves coats ; and some, keep back 
The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots, and wonders 
At our quaint spirits : Sing me now asleep ; 
Then to your offices, and let me rest 



PERDITA. 
[Winter's Tale, Act IF. Scene 3.] 

Per. Come, take your flowers : 
Methinks, I play as I have seen them do 
In Whitsun' pastorals : sure, this robe of mine 
Docs change my disposition. 

Flo. What you do. 
Still betters what is done. When you speak, sweet, 
I'd have you do it ever : when you sing, 
I'd have you buy and sell bo ; so give alms ; 



IN THE COMEDIES. 407 

Praj BO ; and, for the ordering your alTaira, 

To sing them too : When you do dance, I wish you 

A wave o' the sea, that you might ever do 

Nothing but that ; move still, still so, and own 

No other function : Each your doing, 

So singular in each particular, 

Crowns what you are doing in the present deeds, 

That all your acts are queens. 



IMOGENS. 
[CvMBELiNE, Acf II. Scene a.] 

Imo, To your protection I commend me, gods ! 
From fairies, and the tempters of the night, 
Quard me, beseech ye I 

[Sleeps. Iachimo, from the trunk 

lack. The crickets sing, and man's o'erlabour'd sense 
Repairs itself by rest. Our Tarquin thus 
Did softly press the rushes, ere he waken'd 
The chastity he wounded. — Cytherea, 
How bravely thou becomest thy bed 1 fresh lily ! 
And whiter than the sheets I That I might touch I 
But kiss ; one kiss 1 Bubies unparagon'd. 
How dearly they do 't I — Tis her breathing that 
Perfumes the chamber thus. The flame 0' the taper 
Bows towards her : and would under-peep her lids. 
To see the enclosed lights, now canopied 
Under those windows, — white and aiure, laced 
With blue of heaven's own tinct. 



4oS SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN 

JULIA. 

[Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act /K Scene 4.] 

Jul IIow many women would do such a message 1 
Alas, poor Proteus 1 Thou hast entertain'd 
A fox to be the shepherd of th j lambs : 
Alas, poor fool ! why do I pity him 
That with his very heart despiseth me T 
liecause he loyes her, he despiseth me ; 
Because 1 love liiin, I must pity him. 
This ring I gave him, when he parted from me. 
To bind him to remember my good will : 
And now am I (unhappy messenger) 
To plead for that which I would not obtain ; 
To carry that which I would have refused ; 
To praise his faith which I would have dispraised. 
I am my master's true confirmed love ; 
But cannot be true servant to my master. 
Unless I prove false traitor to myself. 
Yet I will woo for liini ; but yet so coldly, 
As, Heaven it knows, I would not have him speed. 



SILVIA. 

[Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act IV, Scene 4.] 

Here, youth, there is my purse ; I give thee this 
For thy sweet mistress' sake, because thou lovest her. 
Farewell. \Exii Silvia. 



IN THE COMEDIES, 409 

Jul, And she shall thank you for 't, if e'er you know her. 
A virtuous gentlewoman, mild, and beautiful* 
I hope my master's suit will be but cold, 
Since she respects my mistress' love so much. 
Alas, how love can trifle with itself ! 
Here is her picture : Let me see ; I think. 
If I had such a tire, this face of mine 
Were full as lovely as is this of hers ; 
And yet the painter flatter'd her a little. 
Unless I flatter with myself too much. 
Her hair is auburn, mine is perfect yellow : 
If that be all the difference in his love, 
I'll get me such a coloured periwig. 
Her eyes as grey as glass, and so are mine : 
Ay, but her forehead's low, and mine's as high. 
What should it be, that he respects in her, 
But I can make respective to myself, 
If this fond love were not a blinded god ? 



HERO. 
[Much Ado about Nothing, A^/ IV. Scene 1.] 

Friar, Lady, what man is he you are accused of ? 

Hero. They know, that do accuse me ; I know none : 
If I know more of any man alive. 
Than that which maiden modesty doth warranty 
Let all my sins lack mercy I — my father, 



410 SHAKBSPBARE*S MAIDENS AND WOMEN 

ProTe 70TI9 that anj man with me convened 
At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight 
Maintain'd the change of words with any creature, 
Refuse me, hate me^ torture me to death. 



BE A TRICE. 
[Much Ado about Nothing, Act III. Scene i.] 

Hero, God of love ! I know, he doth deserve 
As much as may be yielded to a man : 
But nature never framed a woman's heart 
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice : 
Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes, 
Misprising what they look on ; and her wit 
Values itstdf so highly, that to her 
All matter else seems weak : she cannot love, 
Nor take no shape nor project of affection. 
She is so self endeared. 

Un. Sure, I think so ; 
And therefore, certainly, it were not good, 
She knew his love, lest she make sport at it. 

Utro, Why, you speak truth : I never yet saw man, 
IIow wise, how noble, young, how rarely featured, 
But she would spell him backward : if fair-faced. 
She'd swear, the gentleman should be her sister ; 
If black, why nature, drawing of an antic. 
Made a foul blot ; if tall, a lance ill-headed ; 



IN THE COMEDIES. 411 

If low, an agate very vilely cut ; 
If speaking, why a vane blown with all winds ; 
If silent, why, a block moved with none. 
So turns she every man the wrong side out ; 
And never gives to truth and virtue that 
Which simpleness and merit purchaseth. 

Urs. Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable. 

Hero, No : not to be so odd, and from all fashions, 
As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable : 
But who dare tell her so ? If I should speak. 
She'd mock me into air ; 0, she would laugh me 
Oat of myself, press me to death with wit. 
Therefore let Benedick, like covered fire, 
Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly : 
It were a better death than die with mocks ; 
Which ia as bad as die with tickling. 



HELENA. 

[All's Well that Ends Well, Aci L Scene 3.] 

Hel, Then, I confess, 
Here on my knee, before high Heaven and you, 
That before you, and next unto high Heaven, 
I love your son : — 

My friends were poor, but honest ; so's my lore : 
Be not offended ; for it hurts not him. 



4tt SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOifBlf 

Tbat be is loved oF mc : I folloiv him not 

By OBJ loken of giretuniptuous taU ; 

Nor would I have him, till I do deaeire biin f 

Nor jtl know how that desert should be. 

I know I love ia vain, strive against hope ; 

Yet, ia tliis eaptioiu sail intenible sieye, 

I Blill ponr in the waten of mj loTe, 

And lack not to lose still : thus, lodiaD-like, 

Religious in mine error, I adore 

The sun tbat looks ni>oa bis worshipper, 

But knows of him no mora. Hj dearest madam, 

Let not j'otir hate encounter with my love. 

For loving where you do : hut, if yourself 

Whose nged honour cites a virtuous youth, 

IKd ever, in so true a flame of liking. 

Wish chastely, and love dearly, that your Dian 

Wm both herself and loye, then give pily 

To her, whose slate is such, that cannot choosa 

But lend and give, where she ia sure to lose ; 

^lat seeks not lo Bud tbat her search implies, 

But, riddle-like, lives sweetly where the dies. 



CELIA. 

[As You Like It, /frf / Sce»f 2.] 

Sol. From henceforth, I will, coz, and devise sports ; 
let me see, — What think you of falling in loye t 
Otl Mnrry, I pr'ythee, do, to make sport withal : but 



IN THE COMEDIES. 413 

love no man in good earnest ; nor no farther in sport 
neither, than with safety of a pure blush thou may*st in 
honour come off again. 

Eos, What shall be our sport then ? 

Cel, Let us sit and mock the good housewife, Fortune, 
from her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed 
equally. 

Ros, I would we could do so : for her benefits are 
mightily misplaced : and the bountiful blind woman doth 
most mistake in her gifts to women. 

Cel, 'Tis true : for those that she makes fair, she scarce 
makes honest ; and those that she makes honest, she makes 
very ill-favour*dly. 

R08, Nay, now thou goest from fortune's office to nature's: 
fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments 
of nature. 



ROSALIND. 
[As You Like It, Ac/ III. Scene 2.] 

Ctl, Didst thou hear these verses I 

lloz, yes, I heard them all, and more too ; for some of 
them had in them more feet than the verses would bear. 

Ctl. That's no matter ; the feet might bear the verses. 

Bjob. Ay, but the feet were lame, and could not bear 
themselves without the verse, and therefore stood lamely 
in the verse. 

Cd. But didst thou hear, without wondering how thy 
name should be hang'd and carved upon these trees ] 



4T4 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN 

Roi. I was eevcn of the nine days oat of the wonder 
before you came ; for look here what I found on a palm- 
tree: I was never so be-rhjmed since Pjthagoras' time^ 
that I was an Irish rat, which I can hardly remember. 



OLIVIA. 

[Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, 

Ac/ L Scene 5.] 

Via, Qood madam, let me see your face. 

Oli, Have you any commission from your lord to nego« 
tiate witli my fiice ? you are now out of your text : but we 
will draw the curtain, and sliow you the picture. Look 
you, sir, Buch a one as I Wiis this present Is 't not well 
done ? [ Unveiling, 

Vio, Excellently done, if God did all. 

Oli, *Ti8 in j:iain, sir ; 'twill endure wind and weather. 

Vio, Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white 
Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on 2 
Lady, you are the cruel'st she alive, 
If you will lead these graces to the grave, 
And leave the world no copy. 



JN THE COMEDIES. 415 



VIOLA. 

[Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, 
Acf II. Scene 4.] 

Vio. Too well what love women to men may owe ; 
In faitb, tliey are as true of heart as we. 
My father had a daughter loved a man, 
As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman, 
I should your lordship. 

Bvke, And what's her history ] 

Vio, A blank, my lord. She never told her love^ 
But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud. 
Feed on her damask cheek : she pined iu thought \ 
And, with a green and yellow melancholy, 
She sat like Patience on a monument. 
Smiling at grief. Was not this love, indeed ? 
We men may say more, swear more : but, indeed, 
Our shows are more than will ; for still we prove 
Much in our vows, but little in our love. 

Dxikt. But died thy sister of her love, my boy ? 

Vio, I am all the daughters of my father's house, 
ani all the brothers too. 



MARIA. 



[Twelfth Night; or. What You Will, 

Ad I. Scene 3.] 

Sir And. An' you part so, mistress, I would I miglit 
never draw sword again. Fair lady, do you think you 
have fools in hand 1 



416 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN 

Mar, Sir, I have not jou by the hand. 

Sir And, Many, but you shall have ; and here 'a my 
hand. 

JIar, Now, sir, thought is free. I pray you, bring your 
hand to the buttery-bar, and let it drink. 

Sir And, Wherefore, sweetheart? What's your meta- 
phor? 

Jfar, It's dry, sir. 

Sir And, Wby, I think so : I am not such an ass, but I 
can keep my hand dry. But what 's your jest ? 

Jfar, A dry jest, sir. 

Sir And, Are you full of them ? 

Mar, Ay, sir : I have them at my fingers' ends : marry, 
now I let go your hand, I am barren. 



ISABELLA. 

[Measure for Measure, Ac/ IL Scene 4 ] 

Ang. Admit no other way to save his life, 
(As I subscribe not that, nor any other, 
But in the loss of question,) that you, his sister. 
Finding yourself desired of such a person, 
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place, 
Could fetch your brother from the nianaclea 
Of the all- binding law ; and that there were 
No earthly mean to save him, but that either 
Vou must lay down the treasures of your body 



IN THE COMEDIES. 417 

To this supposcfl, or else let liim suffer : 
What would you ? 

/sah. As much for my poor brother, as myself. 
Tliat is, were 1 under the terms of death, 
The impression of keen whips I'd wear as rubies, 
And strip myself to death, as to a bed 
That longing I have been sick for, ere I *d yield 
My body up to shame. 

Ang, Then must your brother die. 

Isdb. And 'twere the cheaper way : 
Better it were, a brother died at once, 
Than that a sister, by redeeming him, 
Should die for ever. 



THE PRINCESS OF FRANCE. 
[Love's Labour's Lost, Ac/ IV, Scene i.] 

Cost, God dig-you-den all 1 Pray you which is the head 
lady ? 

Priru Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that 
have no heads. ' 

Cost, Which is the greatest lady, the highest 1 

PHn, Tiie thickest and the tallest. 

Cost. The thickest, and the tallest I it is so ; truth is 
truth. 
An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit, 
One of these maids' girdles for your waist should be fit. 
Are not you the chief woman 1 you are the thickest here. 

2 D 



4i8 SHAKESPEARE^S MAIDENS AND WOMEN 



THE ABBESS. 
[Comedy of Errors, Acf V, Scene i.") 

Adr, It was the copy of our conference : 
In bed, he slept not for my urging it ; 
At board, he fed not for my ar<,'ing it ; 
Alone, it was the sabjoct of my theme ; 
In company, I often glanced it ; 
Still did I till him it was vile and bad. 

Ahh. And tiiereof came it, that thy man was mad : 
The venom clamours of a jealous woman 
Poison more deadly tluin a mad do^''s tooth. 
It seems, liis sleep was hinder'd by thy railing : 
And therefore conies it, that his head is light. 
Tliou flay*st, liis meat was sauced by thy upbriiidings : 
Unquiet meals make ill di^^estions, 
Tlieroof tlie rai^iiiL,' fne of fever Ijied ; 
And wliat'ri a fever but a fit of madness? 
Thou sa\ 'st his sports were hinder'd by thy brawls : 
Sweet reci'cation barr'd, what doth ensue, 
JUit moody and dull niclanclioly, 
(Kinsman to grim an<l comfortless despair ;) 
And, at licr heel>', a liu^e infectious troop 
K.)^ ])ale di>i('niperatures, and foes to liie ? 
In food, in sporty and life-preserving rest 
To be disturb'd, would mad or man, or beast ; 
The ( onsequence is then, thy jealous fits 
Have scared tiiy husband fn»m the use of witd. 



IN THE COMEDIES. 419 

MRS. PAGE. 
[Merry Wives of Windsor, Ac/ JL Scene 2.] 

Quick. That were a jest, indeed ; they have not so little 
grace, I hope : —that were a trick, indeed ! But Mrs, 
Page would desire you to send her your little page, of all 
loves ; her hushand lias a marvellous infection to the little 
page : and, truly. Master Page is an honest man. Never 
a wife in Windsor leads a better life than she does ; do 
what she will, say what she will, take all, pay all, go to 
bed when she list, rise when she list, all is as she will ; 
and, truly, she deserves it ; for if there be a kind woman 
in Windsor she is one. You must send her your page : 
no remedy. 



MRS. FORD. 
[Merry Wives of Windsor, Acf I. Scene 3.] 

Fal. No quips now. Pistol : Indeed I am in the waist 
two yards about : but I am now about no waste ; I am 
about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford's 
wife ; I spy entertainment in her ; she discourses, she 
carves, she gives the leer of invitation : I can construe 
the action of her familiar style ; and the hardest voice of 
her behaviour, to be Eiiglish'd rightly, is, I am Sir John 
Falstaffs. 

Fist He hath studied her well, and translated her well 
^out of honesty into English. 



420 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN 



ANNE PAGE. 
[Merry Wives of Windsor, Act I. Scene i.] 

Anne. Will't please your worship to come in, sir. 

SUii, No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very 
wclL 

Anne. The dinner attends you, sir. 

Slen, I am not a-hungr}', I thank you, forsooth. — Go, 
sirrah, for all you arc my man, go, wait upon my cousin 
Shallow : [Exit Him'ple.^ A justice of peace sometime may 
be beholden to his friend for a man. — I keep but three 
men and a boy yet, lill my mother be dead: But what 
though ? yet I live like a poor gentleman lx)rn. 

Anne. I may not go in without your worship : they will 
not sit till you cume. 



KATHARINA. 
[Taming of the Shrew, Act 11, Scene i.J 

PeU I pray you do, I will attend her here, — 
And woo her with some spirit when she comes. 
Say, that she rail, — why, then V\\ tell her plain, 
She sings as sweetly as a nightingale ; 
Say, that she frown, — I'll say, she looks as clear 
As morning roses newly wash'd with dew ; 
Say, she be mute, and will not speak a word, — 
Then, I'll commend her Tolubility, 



IN THE COMEDIES. 4:^1 

And Bay — ahe uttereth. jiiercing eloiiuence ; 

If siie do bill me pack, I'll give lier ihaiika, 

Aa ttoiigh slie bid me Btoy by her a week ; 

If sbe deny to wed, I'U crare the day 

Whaa I Bliall aak the banna, and wlieu be niatried.— 

But bero abe coiueE ; and cow, Petruchio, speak, 

filter Eatharina. 
Qood-inorrow, Kate ; for tliat'a your nnme, I hem. 

Kalh. Well bave you beard, but sonietbiiig hard I't 
bearing ; 
They call n.i: Katharine ilmt do talk of me. 

PA You lie, in faitli ; for you are call'U plain Kate, 
And bonny Kate, and Botoetimes Kate tlie curat ; 
But Kate, tbe prettiest Kate in Christendom, 
Eate of Kate-UiiLI, my snpper-dainty Kale, 
For dainties are ail cates : and therefore, Kate, 
Tiike this of me, Kate of my conaolation, — 
Eearinfj thy mildness praised in every town, 
Thy Tirtiiea spoke of, and thy beauty sounded, 
(Yet not BO deeply ns to thee belongs,) 
MyaeU am moved to woo thee for my wifa 



In the introductory pages to thia picture-gallery 

I httve related how the popularity of Shakespeare 

spread over England and Germany, and how, 

here and there, appreciation of hia works was 

I developed. Unfortunately I could impart no 

, Buch pleasant information as regards the Latin 

htnds. In Spain, the name of our poet has re- 

I mained even to thia day unknown. Italy ignores 

Lim — probably intentionally, in order to protect 



422 SHAKESPEARE*S MAIDENS AND WOMEN 

the fame of its own great poet from transalpiDO 
rivalry ; and France, the home of traditional taste 
and refined tone, long believed it had sufficiently 
honoured the great Briton when it called him a 
genial barbarian, and made as little mockery as 
might be of his strange roughness. Meantime the 
political revolution which animated this country 
also developed a literary one, which, as regards 
Terrorism, perhaps surpasses the first ; and when 
it came. Shakespeare was liflted on the shield. Of 
course, just as in their attempts at political 
changes, the French are seldom quite honourable 
in their literary revolutions — in the one as in the 
other they praise and exalt a hero, not for his 
true innate worth, but on account of the momen- 
tary advantage which their cause may gain by 
such exalting and glorifying, and so it happens 
tliat they to day praise what they to-morrow cast 
down, or the contrary. For ten years Shake- 
speare lias been for the party of the present 
literary revolution a subject of the blindest adora- 
tion. But whether he has had among these men 
of the Movement a truly scientific recognition, or 
even a proper comprehension, is the great question. 
The French are too truly the children of their 
mother, they have taken in social falsehoods with 
their mothers* milk too much to absolutely give 
their taste or even full intelligence to the poet 
who breathes the truth of nature in every word. 



IN THE COMEDIES. 483 

It is certainly true tliat for some time tljere 
Las prevailed among their writers an unbounded 
Btriving towards such natoraluesB ; they hare even 
torn the garments of" conventionaiism from their 
limbs, and bIiow theuiselves in hideoua naked- 
Yet ever some rag of fashion which clings to 
them betrays the old uunaluralness, and awakena 
in the German looker on an ironic smile. These 
writers put me in mind of the copperplate engrav- 
ings in certain novels where the indecent amours 
of the eighteenth century are imitated, and where, 
in spite of the Eden costume of natui'c of gentle- 
and ladies, the former keep their queued 
periwigs, and the latter their toweiuog fris&d 
head-dresses. 

It is not by direct criticism, but indirectly in 
dramatic compositions which are more or less 
imitations of Shakespeare, that the French attain 
to some knowledge of the great poet. As a 
mediator in this manner Victor Hugo deserves 
great praise, not that I regard him, however, as 
a mere imitator of the Briton. Victor Hugo is 

genius of the Lighest order, and his powers of 
fliglit and of creation are wonderful; he has the 
form and the word, he is the greatest poet of 
France, but his Pegasus has a morbid fear of the 
roaring torrents of the present, and goes naost 
willingly to water where the light of day ia 
mirrored in fresh floods — he loves far better to 



iU SHAKESPEARE'S UAIDBNS AND WOltS 

ec«lc amon^ the niins of the past those forgotten 
spriii),'? whert" ol" old the miyestic winged horse of 

^^»k«epeare once queuobed his imuortal thirst. 

f Whether it is that those auL'ieiit spring, half 
rained and half bogged, no longer supply pnre 
dmugbts, it is enough to eay thnt Victor Hago's 
drninnlic poems contain more of the tarbid mnd 
than of the reviving spirit of the old English 
Hipijocrene — there is wanting in them its joyoas 
brightness and harmonious health ; and I mnst 
confess I am ollen seized with the dreadful thought 
that this Victor Hugo is the ghost of some Eogliah 
poet of the golden age of Elizabeth, a dead poet 
who haa risen from his grave in an ill-temper 
to write some posthumous norks in a time and 
conntry where he will be safe from competition 
with the great William.' In truth, Victor Hugo 
reminds me of such people as Marlow, Decker, or 
Heywood, who in lunguage and manner were so 
much tike their great contemporary, and only 
lacked his deep perception and sense of beaaty, 
his terrible and laughing grace, bis revealing 
mission from nature. And, ah ! to all the short- 
comings of Marlow, Decker, and Hey wood there is 
in Victor Hugo the saddest want of all — that of 

' Can it bo thnt the well-lrnown Fronch expreasioQ " U grand 
Williami," Attributed to Jbdih, originatsd io Buine reciUec- 
tii<n uf Heioe'i Gemuui phrase, "dir Eonlivrrenz dei greticn 
Williami"! The genitive may possibly bave been takco for % 
nominative. — Traiulalar, 



IN THE COiJJSDIBS. 



43S 



I 



life. They suffered from an over-boiling copious- 
ness, the wildest fulness of blood, and their poetic 
creation was written breath, shouting for joy or 
sobbing with woe ; but Victor Hugo, with all the 
honour which I grant him, I must confess has 
something dead, uncanny, ghostly, grave-risan, 
vampyre-like in him. He does not awaken in- 
spiration in our hearts — be sucks it out ; be does 
not win our feeling by poetic transfiguration, bnt 
terrifies it by repulsive grotesques. He saffera 
from death and horrors. 

A young lady with whom I am very intimate 
expressed herself recently as to this craving for 
horrors by Hugo's muse in very apt words. She 
said, "The muse of Victor Hugo reminda me 
of the eccentric princess who was determined to 
marry only the ngliest man alive, and ho sent 
forth through the land a summons that all young 
men who were remarkably misshapen should on a 
certain day repair to the royal castle as candidates 
for marriage. As may be supposed there was a 
fine collection of cripples and grotesques, and one 
might have supposed that he had before him all 
the caricatures— I mean characters^-of one of 
Hugo's novels. But Quasimodo bore the bell and 
^^ took the bride home."^ 

^H ' Aber Quasimodo, fUkrU die Smut wirh Bauae. A naat 
^^K, ailnptntion of the old proverb ; Wer'i ij/vct hat, def faltrct dit 
^H £raiiC hiiin, und v/cr'g IlrcM hat, der leldi^ft bci iAr. Also 
^V Engliah.— Tra/ieialOT. 



4l6 SHAKE^iPEASE-S MAIDENS AND WOMES 

Next to Victor Hugo 1 must mention Dumas; 
nnd he also has to a certain degree promoted an 
iippreciation of Shakespeare in France. If the 
former by extravagance in u^'liness accDstomed 
the French to eeek in the drama not merely a 
beaDtifal garb for passion, Damaa so intlaenced 
them that thej took great pleoGnre in the natural 
expression of it Dut this pnsBron {massed with 
Mm for the highest ideal, and in hia poems it 
took the place of poetry. The natural result was 
that he hud nil the more effect on the stage. 
He fainilinrUed the public in this sphere, and in 
the re]ire8entation of passions, with the boldest 
conci^pttons oi Shakespeare, and he who hsA 
onco found pleasure io Htnry III. and Richard 
Darlington, could no longer complain of want of 
taste in Oihcllo and Richard III. The accasn- 
tion of pliigiarism which was urged against him 
was as (iiolifih aa it was unjust. It cannot be 
denied that Dumae has here and there in hia 
passionate scenes taken something from Shake- 
speare, but our Schiller had done this more boldly 
without incurring the least reproach. And aa for 
Shakespeare himself — how much was he indebted 
to his predecessors ! Yes, and it happened even to 
him that a sour-souled pamphleteer once assailed 
hiin with the charge that " the best of his dramas 
were taken from earlier writera" Shakespeare, 




IN THE COUEDtES. 

according to this aranaing incident, i 
jackdaw dressed out in peacock's feathers. The 
Swan of Avon was silent, and probably thought 
in his divine mind — " I am neither daw nor pea- 
cock ! " and rocked himself carelessly in the blue 
waves of poetry, oft smiling at the stars, those 
golden thoughts of heaven. 

Count Alired de Vigny must also be mentioned 
here. This writer, quite familiar with the English 
idiom, studied Shakespeare most thoroughly, trans- 
lated with great cU'vemess several of his dramas, 
and this study exercised a most favourable influ- 
ence on his own works. Owing to the ready 
ear and keen perception of art, which it mast 
be admitted de Vigny possessed, we may assame 
that he heard and saw more deeply into the spirit 
of Shakespeare than most of his compatriuta. 
But the talent of this man, like all his manner of 
thought and feeling, 13 in the dainty, delicate, and 
miniature-like, and his works are chielly valuable 
for their elaborate finish. Therefore I can well 
imagine that he often stood stupefied before those 
BtupendouB beauties which Shakespeare had hewed, 
as it were, from the most tremendous granite blocka 
of poetry. ... He certainly gazed at them with 
anxious admiration, like a goldsmith who in Flor- 
ence stares at the colossal gates of the Baptistery 
which, thongh made at oce cast of bronze, are 




42S SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN 

still as delicate and dainty as if cut by hand, and 
which look like the finest jewellery.* 

If it be hard enough for the French to under- 
stand Shakespeare's tragedies, it must be admitted 
that an appreciation of his comedies is almost 
utterly denied to them. The poetry of passion 
is to them intelligible, and they can also to a 
certain extent comprehend the truth of the char- 
acteristic, for their hearts have learned to glow, 
the impassioned is their own peculiar line,* and 
with their analytical intelligence they can separate 
every given character into its minutest elements, 
and calculate the phases or situations into which 
that character would fall when reduced to the 
realities of life. But in the magic garden of the 
Shakespearean comedy all tliis empirical know- 
ledge is of no avail. At its very gate their under- 
staudiny: fails thorn, their heart knows nothinsr 
definite, and they lack the mysterious divining 
rod at the touch of which the lock opens. There 
they stare with amazed eyes through the golden 
grate, and see how lords and ladies, shepherds and 
shepherdesses, fools and sages, wander about under 
the tall trees; how the lover and his loved one 
rest in the cool shadows and exchange tender 

* "Jewellery in iron " has also been very happily applied to 
the great lanterns of the Strozzi Palace in Florence. There U 
iomething of thia grand elaUnateness in Cellini's "Perseus."— 
Translator. 

' Bas passionirtc int so redd ihr Fach, 



W THE COMEDIES. 429 

words; how now ancl tlien a fabulona animal, 
perhaps a stag witli silver boras, comes by, or 
else a chaste imicorn, leaping from the thicket, 
lays his head in the lovely lady 'a lap. And they 
see how the water-ladies rise with gi-een hair and 
glitteriDg veils, and how all at once the moon 
rises, and they hear how the nightingale trills — 
and they shake their wise heads at all the incom- 
prehensibly nonsensical stnff! Ye^, the French 
can comprehend the sun bnt not the moon, and 
least of all the vaptnrons sobbing and melancholy 
ecstasy of the ni^^htingales. 

Yea, neither their empirical familiarity with 
human passions, nor their positive knowledge of 
the world, ia of any avail to the French, when 
they would unriddle the visions and sounds 
which gleam and ring forth from the magic 
gardens of Shakespearean comedy; they often 
think they see a human face, yet when near by 
it is a landscape fair — what they believed were 
eyebrows was a hazel-bush, and the nnse was a 
rock, and the mouth a little fountain, as we see 
them in changing pnzzle-pictures. And, on the 
other hand, what the poor Frenchmen mistake 
for a strangely gnarled oltl tree, or marvellous 
6tone, appears on closer view to be a real human 
face of tremendous expression. And if they 
■ncceed in overhearing with strained ears some 
dialogue which two lovers are holding in the 




430 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN 

forest-shade, they are still more bewildered, for 
they hear familiar words in changed sense, and 
so they swear that these people know nothing 
of flaming feeling, and the great passion. What 
they had ordered for refreshment was witty water- 
ice, not a blazing bowl of love-drink. Nor do 
they observe that these people are only disgoised 
doves, who converse in a jargon of their own,^ 
which one can only learn in dreams or in earliest 
infancy. But it is worst of all for the French 
standing outside the grated gate of Shakespearean 
comedy, when ever and anon a pleasaut west wind 
sweeps over a gn rden-bed and wafls to their noses 
most unknown perfume — " What's that ? " 

Justice demands that I here mention a French 
writer who, with a cleverness quite his own, imi- 
tated Shakespearean comedies, and manifested 
even in the choice of his models a strange sus- 
ceptibility to true poetry. This is Alfred de 
Mnsset. He wrote, about five years ago, several 
small dramas which, so far as construction and 
stvle are concerned, are altot^ether after the 
comedies of Shakespeare. And he has with 
French facility mastered the caprice, not the 
humour, of his original. And what is more, 

* Kotcricsprache, the peculiar language of a set. "Society 
slang," ami, as Heine here suggests, nursery-talk. Jargoning 
U specially applied to the language of birds by old English 
poets. Liehistrunk or Liclcstrank, " love-drink," also means a 
philtre to cause \o\*i. — Trcnislalor. 




IN THE COMEDIES. 

there ia not wanting in these pretty trifles some 
of the pure gold of poetry, thoagh it be drawu 
into the thinnest wire. It was only to be re- 
gretted that the then youthful composer had read, 
in addition to a French translation of the works of 
Shakespeare, also a version of Byron's poems, and 
was there! ly led into affecting in the costume of 
tlie spleeny lord that satiety and weariness of 
life which it was the fashion of French yonth to 
assume. The rosiest little boys, the healthiest saacy 
striplings,^ declared in those days that their sense 
of enjoyment was quite blunted ; they feigned the 
coldness of old age, and affected a distrait and 
yawning expression. 

Since which time our poor Monsieur de Muaeet 
has seen the error of his ways and returned from 
them, and now plays no more the part of Used- 
up in his poems; but, alack, those poems now 
contain, instead of simulated rnin, the far more 
inconsolable traces of a real decline of bodily and 
mental power. Ah, this writer reminds me of 
those artificial rnins which we see in castl»- 
gardens of the eighteenth century, which were 

' Oetliichnaiil, a y^Uow bill, no called [mm ceiiBia bird* | 
wboie billa are ji^tlow while lerj ^oung, A greeiihom, ■ 
freBhman, on inuoceut, an unsupliigticated gnaling, or, in Bomi 
parts of Amurico, a loppui. The B^mniaii] whlcb Heine hen 
ridicules hita hud its parnllel of lata yitan in tbe pesalmi 
certain popular pbilosopbers, which unfuitunately lacks itftJ 
Byron. — Trmtdater. 



432 SHAKESPEARE'S MAIDENS AND WOMEN 

once weak inventions of a childiali fancy, bat 
wbich in the conrse of time awaken in as a 
moamful pity, when they have become weather- 
beaten and moaldering in earnest, and ran into 
real decay. 

The French are, as I have said^ little inclined 
to grasp the spirit of the Shakespearean comedy, 
and I have found, with one exception only, none 
among their critics who has even a vagae idea 
of it Who is this man ? Who is the exception. 
Gutzkow says that the elephant is the doctrinaire 
among animals. And just such a reasonable and 
perfect paragon of a ponderous elephnnt has most 
sagaciously grasped the real being of the Shake- 
Bi>eare comeily. Yes, one can hardly believe it, 
but it is Monsieur Guizot who has best written 
on those graceful and mrost mischievously wanton 
airy images of the modern muse, and hereupon 
I translate for tlie amazement and edification of 
the reader a passage from a work which was pub- 
lished in 1822 by Ladvocat in Paris, and which is 
called I)e Shalcespeare et de la Po4sie dramatiqiie, 
par F. Guizot : — 

" The Shakespearean comedies resemble neither 
those of Moli6re, nor of Aristophanes, nor of the 
Romans. Among the Greeks, and in modern 
times among the French, comedy was the result 
of a free but careful study of the real world of 
life, and the problem, or result, was its represen* 




H.MOJ 



IN THE COMEDIES. 

'lation on tho stage. The diatinctions beti 
comedy and tragedy are to be found in the 
beginning of dramatic art, and as they were de- 
veloped the division became more marked. The 
renson for this lies in the things themselves. The 

lestiny of man, like his nature, his passions and 

iDrsuits, character and occurrences, all in and 
•ound us, have serious as well as comic sides, 

ind may be ranged as one or the other, accord- 
to our special point of view. This double- 

idedness of man and the world has pointed out 
dramatic poetry — naturally enough — two very 
ferent paths, but while men chose this or 
that as a place for rivalry or action, art never 
deviated from the study aad representation of 
reality. Though Aristophanes lashes with un- 
restrained freedom of fancy the vices and follies 
of the Athenians, though Moli^re censures and 
cats the errors or abuses of scepticism, avarice, 
envy, pedantry, courtly etiquette, and of virtue 
itself — all there is in it is that the two poets 
handle very different subjects, one bringing on 
the stage a whole lile aud people, the other on 
the contrary the incidents of private life, or the 
inner life of families, and what is laughable in 
individuals — this difference in comic material 
being a result of a diffei-ence in time, place, 
and civilisation. But to Aristophanes, as to 
Uoli^re, reality or the real world is always the 




4J4 SHAK8SPBARS-S MAWBNS AND WOMEtT ' 

■tage of thnir repreaentations. What inapire 
and luitain tlicir poetic mood arc t)ie cuEtoms 
and id^u of their age, the vicea and follieB of 
tlirir felloiT-oitiBeQa — above all, iiulure and the i 
life of ituin. Comwly Unreror© springs from the 
world which sarroanda tho poet, and she adapti 
heraelf r»r more cloKfly than tragedy to the ex- 
Ifrnnl rtotinu of reality, 

" Nut Ml ivith ShakMpeare. Id hia time, ia. 
England, the material of the drama, Naturei 
and hamnn action, had not yet received from the 
hands of Art that distinction and class! Rcatioa. 
When the poet pleased to work this material up 
for bhe ata^'^, he took it <i::i a whole with all 
which was mixtnl with it, with all the contrasts' 
which were gathered round, mid public taste 
found no fault with such proceeding. The 
oomio, an element of hnman reality, conld mani- 
feat it»lf wherever truth required or would 
tolerate it, and it waa quite in accordance with 
the dinracter of that Kn^'lish civilisation that 
even tragedy, with which the comic wns to a 
certain d«>gre6 asaociated, lost in nothing the 
dignity of truth. In suoh conditions of the stage, 
and Buoh tai>iea in tho public, what kind of comedy 
would be likely to nmiiifest itseU'P How could 
the latter be considered as a special kind, and 
boar its settled name as 'Comedy'? It auo- 
ceeJed in doing this by freeing itself from those 



IN THE COMEDIES, 435 

realitieB or conditions in which the limita of ita 
natural realm were neither defended nor defined. 
This comedy did not confine itsell' to the represen- 
tation of accurately described mannere and exact 
characters, it sought uo more to depict men and 
things in a manner langlinble yet true to life, it 
became a fantastic and romantic spirit-work,' a 
refuge for all delightful improbabilities, which 
Fantasy, from idleness or inertness, freak or fancy, 
strings on the thinnest of threads, bo na to form 
all kinds of varied combinations which delight 
and interest ua, without being consistent with the 
judgment of reason. Pleasant pictures, surprises, 
jovial intrigues, excited cm-ioaity, disappointed 
hopes, changes, witty problems, which lead to 
disguises. Such waa the material of those inno 
cent, easily combined plays. The fabric of the 
Spanish pieces, which the English people began 
to like, gave these plays all kinds of varied 
frames and patterns, which applied well to those 
chronicles and ballads from those French and 
Italian novels which, next to romances of chivalry, 
were the favourite reading of the public. It is 
intelligible how this rich mine and this easy style 
Boon attracted the attention of Shakespeare. No 

' Oeiitesvvh "r work of ganina. The very HibernlaQ mixture 
of dmilee in this gontence ia neither tbe fnult of the tranglstor. 
inacb iasM o[ Heine, but of Guiznt himeelf. A spirit-wnrlc ruFuga 
tor improb&hitiUeB, strung I''l"< beads, oould only occur (o ttw 
s of >n iwadsiniciiiD. — Translator. 



H tab 



«j» SHAKESPEAKE'S UAIDENS AND WOMEN 

one need wonder th^t his yoathfnl and brilliaut 
imaginatioD gludiv cradled itself in tboso materiala 
where, fre«i from the strou^ yoke of reasoa, it 
could produce every variety of serionB or Btartling 
eflects in defiance of probability. This poet, 
whose spirit ami hand moved with equal restless- 
ness, whofi© manuscripts had hardly a trace of 
correction or improvement, must certainly have 
abandoned himself with special delight to that 
unbridled and adventuresome play of the imagina- 
tion in which he conld develop without restraint 
all his vnried powers. He could cast with a fi-ee 
hand all thing's into his comedies, and indeed he 
did pour in everything except what was utterly 
intolerable in aitcb a Bystem — that is, that logical 
connectinn which subordinates every part of the 
piece to tii© main object, and sets forth in every 
detail the depth, extent, and unity of the work. 
In the tragedies of Shakespeare we seldom find a 
conception, a situation, an act of passion, a de^rree 
of crime or of virtue, which one cannot also find 
in one of his comedies; but what there expands 
itself in the abysmal dopth, what manifests itself 
abundantly in overwhelming results, what weaves 
itself powerfully into a series of causes and effects, 
tfiat is here hardly inti mated — it is only cast in for 
an instant, to produce a fleeting effect, to lose 
itself as quickly in a new combination." 

In truth the Elephant ig in the right; the soul 




IN THE COMEDIES. 

of the Shakespearean comedj ia in the gaily-varii 
butterfly humour in which it flits from flower to 
flower, seldom touching the ground of reality. 
Ouly in opposition to the realistic comedy of the 
ancients, and of the French, can anything deflnite^ 
be declared of the Shakespearean comedy. 

Last night I meditated long as to whetht 
could not give souie positive explanation or 
clearing up of this infinite, illimitable kind of 
the comedy of Shakespeare. Thereupon, after 
long thinking here and there, I fell asleep and) 
dreamed: — 

Dreamed that it was a starry night, and 
Bwam in a small boat on a wide, wide sea, where 
all kind of barks filled with masks, musicianSj 
and torches gleaming, music sounding, many 
or afar, rowed on. There were costumes of all 
countries and ages, old Greek tunics, medireval 
knightly cloaks. Oriental turbans, shepherd's hats 
with fluttering ribbons, masks of beaats wi:d or 
tame — now and then I thought I saw a well- 
known face, sometimes I heard familijir greetings 
— but all passed qnickly by and far away, and 
the merry music grew softer and fainter, whoi 
instead of the gay fiddling I heard near me tl 
mysteriouB, melancholy tones of hunters" hornS' 
iroro another boat. Sometimes the uiglit-wind 
bore the straiua of both to my ear, and then tha 
mingled melody made a happy harmony. Tha. 



:4 



43B SHAKBSPBARBS UAIDENS AND WOlfBN 

water echoed ineffably sweet soanda and burned 
a> with n magical refiectioa of tbe torcbea, and 
tbe f^ily-ptjnnoned pleasure -boats with their 
wondroaa masqnerades swam id iight and mnsio. 
A lovely lady, who stood by tbe rudder of one 
of tho bnrksi, crii-d to me in passin;)', "Ta it 
not true, friend — thou would'at have a definitioii 
of the Sbakeapearfan comedy?" I know not 
wbetber I answered " Yes," but in tbat instant 
the benntiful woman dipped her band in the 
water and sprinkled the ringing Gparka in mj 
face, so that there was a general laughter, and 
I awoke. 

Who waa tbat charming woman who in such 
wise made merry with me in my dream? On 
her ideally beautiful head was a homed cap* of 
variegated colours with belts, a white satin gar- 
ment with fluttering ribbons enclosed her alraost 
too slender limbs, and on her breast she bore 

' Id sltuii'in ta the Imnfn, or the two-hiirned cap, often 
wnrn by lidiei daring the Middle AgHs, but which h'hb charao- 
teriatic ul witohes, and ttrmed "the triumphal barret ot the 
dnvil" (vide La SoreiAt de O, MiehtUC, vij. L chop. v.). By 
the thiitle, Heine refera to what 1i thuB eipressed hy Fiiedrich 
{Symbolik d, Natur), " It is an cniblem ot larcaBtio, biting wit^'" 
and la uiociated with the mottoea JVon nui acutox (natbjag 
if 110^ eUDging) and JTeinO me impune lastigil [Acilhttit dtr 
Pflaiuenwdl, f. l^l). It li also an emblBm ol Venus, ot beauty, 
aod in Elfin lore signifiea the preaenoe of a fa^irj. Ueiae boa 
hero with exigiilsttB ingenuity and grace employed the ayiDbala 
"f •itchcraft, piquancy and beauty, aa attributea of hij imagined 
gkjddciu — TrantlatoT. 



IN THE COMEDIES. 



& red, blooming thistle. Perhaps it was the 
Goddess of Caprice, that strange muse who 
present at tlis birth of Rosalind, Beatrice, Titania, 
Viola, and all the rest, however they may be 
called, of the dear charming children of the 
Shakespearean comedy, and kissed their brows. 
She, indeed, kissed all the freaka and fancies, 
dainty dreams and droll devices into their yoang 
heads, whence they passed to their hearts, Aa 
among the men so with the women in Shake- 
speare's comedies, passion is entirely devoid of 
that terrible earnestness, quite without the fatal- 
istic necessity with which it reveals itself in the 
tragedies. Cupid, indeed, is there blind, and 
carries a quiver with arrows. But these arrows 
are far more gaily-feathered than deadly-tipped, 
and the little god often sqoints roguishly at us 
over his blind. Even the flames give far more 
light than heat, but they are always true flames, 
and in the tragedies of Shakespeare, as well as in 
his comedies, love always bears the character of 
truth. Yes, truth is the token of Shakespearean 
love, no matter what the form may be in which 
it appears, be it called Miranda, or Juliet, or 
Cleopatra. 

While I mention these names rather by accident 
than with intention, it occurs to me that they 
really represent the three most deeply significant 
types of love. Miranda is the representative of a 
love which, without previous influences of an; 



1 



of u I 



440 SHAKESPEARE'S UAIDENS AND WOMEN 

kind, could only develop its highest idenlitv as 
tbe Bower of hd unpolluted aoil whicli only the 
feet of spiritfl had trodden. Ariel's melodies havs 
trained her heart, Bod sensuality lias never been 
known to her, snve in the horribly hideoos form 
of a Caliban. The love which Ferdinand awakes 
in her is therefore not really naive but of a happy 
true-hearted nesB, of an early- world-like, almost 
terrible purity. Juliet's love shows like her age 
and all around her, a more romantic-mediEeval 
character, and one blooming into tbe Renaissance: 
it plittera in colours like the court of the Scaligeri, 
and yet is strong as of those noble races of Lom- 
bardy which were rejuvenated with German blood 
and loved as strongly as they hated. Juliet repre- 
sents tbe love of a youthful, rather rough, but 
of an unspoiled and fresh era. She is entirely 
inspired with the eensnoua glow and strength of 
belief of Buch a time, and even the cold decay of 
the burial vault can neither shake her faith nor 
coul her flame. Our Cleopatra ! — ah, she sets 
forth the love of a sickly civilisation — an age 
whose beauty is faded, whose locks are curled 
with the utmost art, anointed with all pleasant 
perfumes, but iQ which many a grey hair may be 
seen, a time which will empty the cup held out 
to it all the more hastily because it is full of 
dregs. This love is without faith or truth, but 
for all that none the less wild or glowing. In 
vexed consciousness that this heat is not to 



a the 

to be i 



IN THE COMEDIES. 441 

subdued the impatient woman pours still more oil 
into it, and casts herself like a Bacchante into the 
blazing flame. She is cowardly, and yet inspired 
with desire for her own destruction. Love is 
always a kind of madness, more or less beautiful ; 
but in this Egyptian queen it rises to the most 
horrible lunacy. Such love is a raging comet, 
which with its flaming ti*ain darts into unheard- 
of orbits through heaven, terrifies all the stars, 
even if it does not injure them, and at last, miser- 
ably crackling together, is scattered like a rocket 
into a thousand pieces. 

Yes, thou wert like a terrible comet, beautiful 
Cleopatra, and thou didst glow not only unto 
thine own ruin, but wert ominous of evil for those 
of thy time! With Antony the old heroic Roman 
epirit came to a wretched end. 

But wherewith shall I compare you, O Juliet 
and Miranda? I look again to heaven, seeking 
for a simile. It may be behind the stars where 
my glance cannot pierce. Perhaps if the glowing 
sun had the mildness of the moon I could com- 
pare it to thee, Juliet ! And were the gentle 
moon gifted with the glow of the sun, I would 
6fij it was like thee, Miranda ! 



Printed l)y T.allantynf, Hanson <&* CO 
Edinburgh <Sr» London 

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